2015 Cirelli Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT
Region: Abruzzo < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: certified organic farming; minimal SO2 at bottling
Winemaker: Francesco Cirelli
Francesco would stand out as rising star in any of Italy’s big famous regions, but in the decidedly non-shiny region of Abruzzo, better known for recent geological disasters (earthquakes, avalanche) than wine, his aura is almost blinding. Here is a farmer and winemaker who worked high-profile jobs in several of France and Italy’s famous cellars and could’ve rooted his own project anywhere, but chose to return to Abruzzo, his homeland, in 2003, buying a small estate just 8 km from the sea. And he’s been challenging conventions and pushing the boundaries since he landed. His organically-farmed estate includes not only vineyards but olive trees, garlic, spelt, wheat, barley, figs and geese – a complete ecosystem. In the cellar, he’s experimenting with amphora, adds nothing but tiny SO2 at bottling and basically lets his wines evolve as they wish. He trying to make authentic wine, not important wine – wine that is “a magic potion for joy and communion”, in his words. This Pecorino, a native varietal, is such a happy elixir. Waxy, salty and true, like a refreshing sea breeze, it has body and weight but remains light on its feet.