Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: 2007 Trentatre Rosso
Whatever its story, this is a very good wine for the price. It's made from 33.3% Cabernet, 33.3% Merlot, and 33.4% Montepulciano (hence the name, which means "33"). The wine has nice aromas of plum, coffee, and wine cellar, a smoky flavor with a nice balance of tannins, acid, and fruit, and has a drier finish than most Italian (or California) Cabernet blends. It tastes older than I'd expect from the 2007 vintage date, which makes me suspect the winery follows the old-school practice of aging in large, old oak barrels. It's very food-friendly: I had it with spaghetti carbonara, but it would go with just about anything.