After a classic from the Barossa sold through quickly last week, we’ve decided to hit you with something from left field to see how adventurous our community at Press Wines really is.
This is a wine from the south of Italy, in the deep south of 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 warmer climate of Southern Italy. Unlike usual warmer climate varieties in Australia, Gaglioppo in Calabria provides light to mid weight wine, that is juicy, spicy and smooth.
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.
The 2016 wine is awesome. It sits in the glass with a dark core but a light, brickish/ orange hue that is often found in Italian reds. It has the weight of a juicy sangiovese or merlot, though a natural acidity that gives the wine a salivating freshness. I’m not sure if it is the proximity to ocean, though there is a saline feel to the wine, along with warm baking spices and sweet berry fruits, that make it suitable for foods, though more of the simple kind.
It has a rustic nature that gives more character and depth than just intense fruit. The type of wine you have at a Trattoria while on holiday in Italy and think, “Italian wine in Italy is so good, and such good value, why can’t I buy it at home”. Serve below room temperature, straight from the bottle, in Burgundy stems if you have them.
We think it is delicious, drinkable and full of character, though not the most long lived or intellectual of wines. Think salamis, octopus, Italian cheeses or simple pastas.This reflects its suitability for mid-week nights or catch ups with friends. The price doesn't have you worries about opening another bottle either.