2019 Cantina Indigeno Orange 'Calanchi'
Region: Abruzzo < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, limestone “Calanchi” soils; spontaneous fermentation in open vats with 3 different vinifications: 1/3 without skin maceration, 1/3 with skin maceration for 7 days, 1/3 whole bunches -- all in fiberglass; bottled unfiltered/unfined with no added sulfites; zero-zero; 9.5% ABV
Cantina Indigeno is a small project from a group of three friends in Italy’s Abruzzo region, focused on making fresh, low-alcohol, highly drinkable natural wines from local grape varieties. Their vineyards are planted on a mix of sand and clay, some facing the Adriatic Sea and others, like the grapes for this wine, are way up high (500m) at the foot of the Gran Sasso mountains. Everything is organically farmed and, in the cellar, it’s spontaneous fermentation, indigenous yeasts, no temperature control, no filtration and absolutely zero additions. Playing with a combo of stainless steel, fiberglass and amphora, they read each cuvee and decide which vessel best suits the fruit in that vintage – like children, no two are alike. As my friend Giovanni, the importer of this wine, says, “drinking their wine is like listening to a Punk band. Definitely never boring ... always wild and electric.” Like this Calanchi orange cuvee (named after its particular type of poor limestone soil) – it’s a strange, delicious bird, drinking more like a dry, delicious sour beer than wine, at first. Then, with air, it opens and becomes more floral and tart-citrusy, and tastes just like a lemon drop. No, a Lemonhead! Remember those? Sweet, sour and puckery, all in an intriguing, low-ABV package. Perfect for summertime day-drinking.
DRINKING NOTES: Finish the bottle the day you open it -- as with many NAS wines, it gets a little funky on day 2. Don't serve at freezing cold temp, and give it some air, then watch it evolve as you with each glass.