Learning the mysteries of Gaglioppo at ‘A Vita in Calabria


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Learning the mysteries of Gaglioppo in Calabria with Francesco and Laura at ‘A Vita winery. The wines are stunning and they are an amazing family with their 3 year old Andrea and 5 dogs. Some of the sweetest people we have ever met. It was quite an experience to be there. Gaglioppo is a crazy grape that resembles Nebbiolo in taste. It doesn’t have a lot of color and it’s actually super pale with almost a brownish note that could make you think that it’s oxidized when it actually isn’t. In the right vintage, like the 2009, and with the right maceration that can go from 4 days to 35 days, it can truly be something outstanding……very similar to a complex Piemontese but at one third of the price. Spices, dried flowers, and cherries….rustic and yet elegant….and full of warm ripe tannins. Extremely drinkable. “The maceration is key” says Francesco. “One extra day and the wine can become hard to drink” he explains while we drink the 2010 where the tannins were a bit out of control hitting you with the force of a giant wave. “I am still learning as I go” he admits “but in 2009 I just got it right”. True…the wine was incredible. From my point of view: Gaglioppo is like a crazy horse that needs to be tamed and it can be magic. It can also be fantastic as a Rose’. One of the best I ever had. Even better when you sit outside Francesco and Laura’s beautiful country house as you stare at a 180 degree view of the sea, while the wind blows constant of the secular olive trees.

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