Return of the Scala Rosso from the Ciro DOC in Calabria. This is becoming an annual release for us at Press; simply because it is consistently one of the best sub $30 Italian reds on the market. In the three vintages we’ve tried, it gets better every season, partly due to the quality of the team at Scala, and partly due to the blessed run of seasons in the south of Italy.
For a quick refresh, or for those new to Scala, this is a wine from the deep south of Italy, in Calabria, from a vineyard in the DOC (quality region) of Ciro, which is in the upward arch of the foot of the Italian peninsula, overlooking the Ionian Sea. The grape is Gaglioppo (gah-li-oh-po), which is a thick-skinned grape that handles the warm and dry climate of Southern Italy.
The thick skin grape delivers a wine with power and impressive structure, just holding on to medium weight (pushing full), whilst maintaining freshness and saline qualities. The flavours are dark cherry and dry herbs, but the hallmark of the wine is the tannin. The tannin structure is powdery and present, coating the mouth once the flavours disappear, like quality Nebbiolo that comes in at much higher prices. The fruit not as pristine or concentrated as Barolo, but it is nonetheless a window into top quality, rustic Italian red at an everyday price of $28.
The 2019 is the best of the three vintages we’ve tried, thanks to this perfectly balanced structure; whilst the dry herb, garrigue like flavours give the wine a higher tone, more perfume and elegance than the previous vintages. For rusted on Scala fans, this will please, and for those new to Press since we last offered it 15 months ago, this will be a go to red for the spring. It has a rustic nature that gives more character and depth than just intense fruit. The type of red that can only be from one place… Italia.
It is made by the brilliant Scala family, that have owned their property, over multiple generations, for 200 years. The family had previously farmed olive trees, citrus groves and nuts, though turned some of the property over to a vineyard in 1965. They farm their 18 hectares of vineyard organically.
We hope you get around this one. If you move through your stock and want to source some more, this is a wine we try to keep on hand so please just sing out. Happy drinking.
Tom and Dan