This is a new line from a familiar name in Abruzzo's natural wine circles. At Francesco Cirelli's estate Cirelli Farms, the wines are made in amphora (illustrated by the sketched vessel on the label). Here, with this series, he purchases neighbouring organic fruit and raises it in stainless, rather than amphora, casting a different lens on his winemaking regime. The labels share the same colourful circles, but this line has the sphere standing alone, off to the side (referencing where he sources the grapes). Quince, pine nuts, lush melon, meyer lemon scent the softer palate, one that tweaks in at the sides with a lick of acidity, and finishes with a flush of southern Italian heat. Would be lovely with squashes, burrata, olive oil and salts, or any small white fishes. #glouglou.
The Pecorino grape was, until recently, relatively unknown outside its native Abruzzo region. It is rightly gaining popularity for its attractive floral, clean fruit, mineral and crisply acidic qualities. Despite the rather tacky name, this is a good example, showing delicate floral, lemon citrus and almond on the nose with citrus and green fruit flavours backed by vibrant acidity and firm mineral grip. Pairs well with seafood, especially shellfish.
Delicate floral and green fruit with a distinctive almond scent lead the way for fresh green apple flavours with nutty almond notes, lively acidity and a clean, dry finish.
Burnished Seville orange, Scottish marmalade and rasped nutmeg glide along a smooth, warming, silken palate, roughened slightly by a grip of wood on the frame. Spearmint, worn tobacco season, while a light Dutch liquorice salt lingers on the warm finish. Each sniff/sip leads to something more to contemplate. This digestif pomace-based Amaro is made in Friuli, infused with a secretive blend of herbs, spices and roots, including gentian, saffron, licorice, rhubarb, sweet and bitter orange, tamarind, quassia bark, cinchona bark, and galangal root.
Deep ruby in colour with a cedary, blackcurrant nose lifted with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, blackcurrant and raisin flavours; well-balanced and elegant and ready for drinking.
Corvina, Rondinella and Barbera planted on calcareous, red clay, tufo soils northeast of Verona make up this dusky, supple red, plumped up with the ripasso technique. 15% of Corvina is air dried for 4 weeks, while 20% of all fresh grapes are vinified as normal. The remaining 65% is “ripassato” on the unpressed skins of Amarone to gain colour and structure. It's aged in French oak of various sizes for 1 year. Sweetly soft plum, blackcurrant, thorny blackberry is kissed with perfumed strawberries and threaded with pipe tobacco. Tannins are softened, cushioning the plush, medium-bodied palate, finishing with well-placed balsamic. Through it all raises a strong stream of acidity, holding this medium-bodied wine aloft (not easy in this style) and at 13.5 degrees.
Spiced red fruits fill this DOC Bardolino, a Veneto-area blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Sangiovese. Nutmeg and cinnamon lead, followed closely by tart cherries, mulberries and red apples. Tannins are dusty and sparse, encouraging a slight chill and partnering with mushroom dishes or toss it in the picnic basket on your way to the beach.