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Roberto’s Alagna

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Passerina del Frusinate 2014, Alagna, Marcella Giuliani (c. $25.00, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Passerina from sustainably farmed vines in a two-hectare vineyard located near Anagni (whose ancient name, mentioned in Dante’s Purgatorio, was Alagna), about 60 km due east of Rome. Manually harvested. The grapes are chilled to 5-6°C and macerated on the skins for seven to eight hours. Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel tanks is at a cool 12-13°C and can last up to a month. (The idea behind the extended maceration and slow fermentation is to draw flavour and aroma compounds from what can be a fairly neutral grape.) Does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Matured in the bottle before release. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste, Côté Vignes.
Light gold with a bronzish core and yellow glints. A nose initially somewhat closed but opening as the wine breathes: “pumpkin,” “apples” and a “herby note” (quoting other tasters), a hint of lemon too, then freshly mown flowery meadow, then spicy honey and beeswax. In the mouth, it’s extracted and fruity, though dry. A soft spritzy tingle lasts maybe five minutes after opening. The unctuous texture is enlivened by soft, sustained acidity. Minerals abound, especially on the crescendoing, bitter-edged finish. Evolves wonderfully in the glass, gaining straw and anise notes. Long, savoury, unique, delicious. A winner. (Buy again? If there’s any left, yes.)

One of the standouts at the MWG’s Mon Caviste tasting in May was a Cesanese from the same producer. Agent Roberto De Lisi was so sure we’d enjoy the estate’s white, he comped this bottle with our subsequent order. He was right.

Written by carswell

August 7, 2016 at 12:52

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