Saturday, October 19, 2013

Introducing 'A Vita, Real Calabrian Wine!

I am very proud and excited to introduce and collaborate with Calabrese winemaker and former fighter pilot, Francesco de Franco of 'A Vita in Ciro`.  What can you say about Calabria?  Well for me this wine is personal.  My distant family was from central Calabria, an ancient wine region that's gotten mixed up in tragic politics, terrible wine making and organized crime.  I'll go out on a limb and say that Francesco's wines are the most impressive being made in Calabria today. 

Farming is completely natural, certified organic.  8 hectares of land in the heart of the Ciro` Classico DOC, from sea level up to ~200 meters.  Francesco is a purist when it comes to Gaglioppo though he cultivates small amounts of magliocco, greco nero and bianco.  His wines are very light in color yet incredibly tense and meaty, the ultimate in savory Mediterranean wine.  Don't be fooled by the color! Dare I say nebbiolo-esque.
Francesco is a very well respected winemaker in the natural wine circles, certainly the only one working this way in Calabria.  He has been part of the Vini Veri association for many years and I am honored to represent his work in Massachusetts. 
F36 P27, Ciro`: This comes from the younger vines located precisely on Foglio 36, Parcella 27 of the Ciro` DOC map, hence F36 P27.  He's annul.  Destemmed, naturally fermented in stainless steel, bottle aged before release. Light in color but powerful in structure with elegant, complete aromatics. 

Ciro` Classico Superiore:  Older vines from higher elevation, around 200 meters.  This wine is really the nuts and bolts of Francesco's production and from his favorite parcel.  Vinification is the same but the land is more clay and less sand giving this wine more structure and intensity. 
Both of these wines are very intriguing and I believe showcase the top of the potential for gaglioppo and Calabrian wine.  These are savory, old fashion wines that are carefully refined. They won't yell at you about how good they are but they will sneak up on you and keep you grabbing your glass. 

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