2017 Denavolo ‘Dinovolino’
Grapes: Malvasia Aromatica di Candia, Marsanne, Ortrugo
Region: Ravenna > Emilia-Romagna > Italy
Vineyard / Cellar Stats: Organic/biodynamic farming with serious biodiversity in the vineyard; calcareous soils; fermentation in steel with long skin maceration (6 months); bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero-added So2; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Giulio Armani
Giulio Armani has a lot of experience making natural wine. He has been the winemaker at natty wine stalwart La Stoppa in Piacenza for a long time. But we’re really loving the wines from his own side project: DENAVOLO, from a small isolated vineyard high up in the hills of Emilia-Romagna. Perched precariously on the top of the foothills in the far western portion of Emilia-Romagna near Piacenza and not far from the sea, his vineyards start at 300m and top out at 750m. Here the vines produce very small berries with high skin to must ratios, a fact Giulio leverages to make white wines with extended skin contact. This also allows him to use zero additions in his wine-making. These are the very definition of ‘orange wine’, which is a white wine fermented with the grape skins like a red, taking on tannin and texture. This wine, which spends 6 months on the skins, is completely dry and pretty tannic. With air, it unfolds with sage and orange peel on the nose, followed by stone fruits and almond, ending with a fine balance of tannins, acidity and a hint of dried herb. It is even better the next day after opening!
DRINKING NOTE: don’t serve it ice cold, a too-chilly temp only exacerbates the tannins. Slightly cooler than cellar temp is ideal. Just take out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to drink. And give it some air! Pour the wine into a different vessel and use those 20-30 minutes of warm up time to let the wine breath – any old pitcher will do. Let it sit longer if you can – even open in the fridge. The keys to orange wine enjoyment are temp + aeration!