Estate: Passionate, progressive winemaker Andrea Occhipinti purchased 4 hectares of vineyards planted in the 1990’s, on the north-western shores of Lake Bolsena, in the heart of Gradoli, after falling in love with the area. Located in central Italy, Lake Bolsena is the largest volcanic lake in Europe, and provides a unique microclimate in addition to the distinctive terroir. Whilst studying at the Agrarian University of Tuscia, he devoted his master thesis to the vineyards of Gradoli.
Philosophy: To preserve and promote the characteristics of the two native grape varieties of Gradoli: Aleatico and Red Grechetto, to “produce wines with the flavor of tradition and the effervescence of innovation”.
Winemaking: Grapes are farmed organically and hand harvested. Spontaneous fermentation with only native yeasts in small cement bins, without the use of chemical additives and oenological agents, except for a small amount of sulphite added just before bottling. Aged for 18 months in steel and cement barrels and at least 2 months in bottle.
Tasting Notes: Transparent red in colour with floral aromas [rose and violet] underscored by salty minerals and funky earth. Candied cherry, pomegranate, red grapefruit and rose petal are given a drizzle of salty caramel in the light to medium body. A wisp of smoky, earthy minerality compliments the dry, fruity finish. An amazing fusion of fruit/flowers/minerals, expressive and engaging, so light on its feet, each glass will empty quite swiftly.
Lazio Rosso IGT
Estate Bottled by Andrea Occhipinti
$20 [average price]
Bottle N° 4700
Aleatico [Vernaccia Rosso] is an uncommon and seldom seen varietal that is well worth seeking out. With its characteristic aroma of roses, it displays vibrant berry flavours along with savoury herbs and spices, and surprisingly it’s both sweet and dry concurrently. Francesco Tonelli is a 4th generation winemaker, and is referred to as the “Indiana Jones of Pergola” due to his pioneering reputation of hunting down and revitalizing nearly extinct indigenous grape varietals. He is a faculty member in the Agricultural Sciences Department at the University of Bologna, and fought for the creation of the Pergola Rosso DOC, which now consists of 45 hectares and 3 individual winemakers. Francesco is assisted by his wife and his son Stefano, who is now the winemaker of Villa Ligi, following the family belief that quality wines are crafted from the combination of generations of family tradition along with a “strict minimum of technical innovation”. The Tonelli family philosophy is “that a wine should reflect the characteristics of the terrior with extreme sincerity” and that it should convey “the typical features and local traditions”. The Vernaculum was rested for 3 months in glass-lined cement tanks before being released, and was crafted to be enjoyed young.
Red-violet in colour with alluring aromas of roses, candied cherry and sandalwood. Juicy wild berry preserves, tart red currant and traces of warm summer earth comprised the medium body, whilst black peppercorn and herbaceous elements lingered in the moderate finish. Fruit forward with clean flavours, this is a well balanced, exuberant glass that is fantastic on its own or with a variety of dishes.
100% Aleatico [Vernaccia Rosso]
Estate Bottled by Fattoria Villa Ligi Di Stefano Tonelli, Pergola
Enjoy now thru 2015
Rated 88 points by the Wine Advocate