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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.

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Written by carswell

August 7, 2016 at 12:52

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