As I promised I am back again on Cirò, authentic wine of southern Italy and more specifically the most famous from Calabria (see map). I have recently written about the area and the most important characteristics of this wine (read it here). But I have visited some more wineries and I like to integrate the previous report.
As I mentioned in the previous article and, in particular, in the communication section of it, Calabria region -in general- is growing a lot! Recently, on the occasion of the last edition of Radici del Sud (wine contest for only wines from southern Italy, I got to ask an opinion especially to international journalists and experts . I wanted to understand their impressions about the several southern varieties. Well, what the most of them stated is a high degree of appreciation of the Calabrian wines, these strangers… to be ironic!
So let’s learn more with notes about some historical wineries too.
2.5 million bottles, 60% of them go abroad. It is a historical company now run by the fourth generation, which has hardly worked to recover typical varietals and which still experiments offering a great service to the whole territory!
It is excellent the value for money of their Cirò line (red, white and rosé) but also of wines highly appreciated such as “Terre Lontane”, rosè (classification: Val di Neto IGT), the white “Efeso” (still Val di Neto IGT), made from grapes Mantonico as well as the other white named “Critone” (90% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon blanc) that I often enjoy during the hot summers in Calabria. Last but not least 2 top reds, often rewarded: “Gravello” and “Magno Megonio” (both Val di Neto IGT as classification) at higher prices. I also like to underline their commitment in communication and promotion through associations with other producers in the area and the region; for example Euvite association made of 5 producers of different areas of Calabria region: Librandi, Malaspina from Reggio Calabria area, Statti from Catanzaro, Marini and Serracavallo from Cosenza.
Another historical signature, born from the union of two families that gave their names to the brand. The building is still the same and this is why they are working on a tasting room also to exploit the sea tourism of the area even if there is not much support by local institutions.
Caparra & Siciliani likes South Africa style in terms of hospitality, the same reference of Marchesi di Barolo winery in Piedmont (north west of Italy). They work on about 494 acres and grapes provided by the partners, all in Cirò and Cirò classic area. They produce about 1 milion of bottles for 13 different wines including the so-called “Anniversary” (Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore, limited edition for the 50th anniversary of the company), and 2 “E-Venti” (one red, one rosè) a tribute to Crotone, ‘City of Sailing’ (as “venti” in Italians means “winds”).
I have no doubt about my favorite wine: the red named “Volvito” (Cirò rosso classico Superiore Riserva, I had the vintage 2012), it is 100% Gaglioppo grape with a beautiful complexity at the nose with aromas of spices, cacao, black cherry and cherry under spirit. The taste is full, soft, with a balsamic touch on the final, tannins are evident but not intrusive, persistent.
A young producer whose wines are in business since 2010. Totally organic and known for his meticulousness. A niche product, a few bottles: 15,000 bottles in total, 3 of Cirò red and 1 Cirò rosé. He focuses everything on territoriality, so he only works with the red grape Gaglioppo, the most important grape of the area. We tasted tank samples of his reds produced from 3 different vineyards (very beautiful in this area – see pictures).
All wines ferment in stainless still, only the Cirò reserve matures in big casks. The all of the reds have their own personality, with a good structure and a nice aroma of red or black fruits; evident the minerality. The owner, mr. Francesco, and his wife welcomes you into their small spaces adorned with drawings realized by school children as part of initiatives to sensitize the community.
He is also a member of Ciro Boys, a group of young winemakers of the area that “steals” the expression to their colleagues in Piedmont, to promote the area by synergy!
This is another historic and solid references for the territory also thanks to the awards at national and international level. What I like is the consistency of all wines and the recognizable production style, as well as the commitment in the research and recovery of old varieties such as, for example, Pecorello (white variety) and Calabrese (red one) which impressed me for their pleasantness and balance. The foundation year is 1845 and this is one of the first families to bottle in the area; they produce about 750.000 bottles for 11 different wines: of course Cirò (red, white and rosé) that do not disappoint, the two local ones mentioned above, a white from Greco Bianco grape, sparkling version as well as a sweet one, yet, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Gaglioppo, finally
3 top Red. Among those 3, a wine named “160”, an idea born in 2005 to celebrate the 160th anniversary: part of the grapes are dried on racks, such as Amarone style (the famous red produced in Veneto region, north east of Italy and well known for this special style). A very interesting wine, with notes of ripe red fruit and chocolate on the nose. Soft but balanced, with hints of chocolate, harmonious and persistent.