I found another delicious gem at Trader Joe's. The Tato Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2005. It was a whole $8, and it tastes like a $40 Amarone. Delicious, silken, strong without being over-powering, notes of cherry and currant but not "too fruity". I agree with the Forbes review (and I almost never agree with anything I read in Forbes) on how good it tastes. [Also, a photo of the label, here]. The Demoninazione di origine that Italy has is an Awesome Government Control that truly helps to guide a wine towards being wonderful, regardless of how expensive, or inexpensive it is.
I disagree with "seriousjoke" and his review that says it is grassy and reminiscent of "wet soil". Wet soil? Having grown up 8 miles south of Lake Michigan's south shore, where the dirt was black, and then spending 16 years in the SC Upstate where the acidic, iron-filled, orange-brown staining, greasy soil had a much different smell, neither was represented in the '05 Tato Montepulciano D'Abruzzo - but it was delicious.
A reviewer called bjwdad must've gotten a bad bottle at his Trader Joe's in Phoenix, mentioning the low quality notes of earth and mushrooms [NOTE: a good wine, that is drinkable and has not spoiled in storage, is not supposed to have 'hints of cigar box', smoke, mushrooms, wet earth, musty, wet wood, or other scents of degradation] that were not at all present in my bottle.
Eight whole dollars, excellent Italian government guidance, and Trader Joe's customer centric service... very cool.
1 week ago