2018 Talamonti 'Trabocchetto' Pecorino Colline Pescaresi
Region: Colline Pescaresi < Abruzzo < Italy
Vineyard/cellar stats: Certified organic farming; whole winery operated by renewable power; high-elevation vineyards; 12 hours of skin contact before fermentation in stainless steel; 13% ABV
Abruzzo has always flown under the radar, in the shadow more famous wine regions like Tuscany. Which makes this part central Italy a hotspot for natural wine today -- still relatively undiscovered and inexpensive here, there is room for young winemakers to come in, buy virgin land and make low-intervention wine. And then there are the old school producers who have always farmed organically, and made wine this way. Like the Di Tonno family's Talamonti estate, certified organic since 2001, and completely operated by renewable energy.
We love their 'Trabochetto' (named after the fishing platforms, trabocchi, on the Abruzzo coast), from the local white variety, Pecorino, that was almost extinct at one point. Pecorino means 'little sheep' because it is said to be a favorite of the roaming sheep of the area. Golden yellow in the glass, its rich and round but not heavy, with zesty citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, citrus oil) with a hint of herbs (mint, pine) and salinity. Juicy acidity keeps it fresh and bright, perfect for hard a salty cheeses, rich seafood dishes and pretty much any white meat. A great example of a classic wine done in the mineral intervention way that we call natural - but the Di Tonno family says is just "wine", the way they've always made it.