2016 Querciagrossa 'Acquanera' Toscana Rosso

2016 Querciagrossa 'Acquanera' Toscana Rosso

Regular price $30

Region: Bolgheri < Tuscany < Italy

Grapes: Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nero

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; marl, clay-limestone soil; co-fermented in clay amphora; above-ground, without any chemical, sulfite or yeast additions; bottles after a year, then spends another year bottle aging; unfined/unfiltered with no added SO2; 13% ABV

Winemaker: Pierpaolo Bertolini

Querciagrossa is a 6 ha winery outside of Grosseto in southern Tuscany's Maremma region, the Wild West of Italy, where cowboys on horseback used to ride the flat plains (for real). The farmer and winemaker, Pierpaolo Bertolini, calls his' 'rejuvenative' agriculture. He doesn't plant new vineyards; he only rejuvenates old ones. He is not currently certified organic, but works this way, with no herbicides or pesticides of any kind. For soil nutrition he uses biochar made from his prunings and compost from a neighbor. He works by hand and for tilling, with a draft horse, though he is slowly working him away from tillage even.

The 2016 Acquanera is the current vintage of this cepage, the majority of which is Ciliegiolo, a common blending grape in Tuscany that rarely plays a leading role but perhaps should, because it lends such a pretty savory, red cherry character to the often rustic Tuscan blends.  Poised, focused, somewhat serious, with enough softness to carry cherry and red licorice fruit with balanced acidity, this is an elegant table wine that wants food by its side. It's technically a 'Super Tuscan' from Tuscany's wild west ( which we normally find anything but super) because the blend doesn't follow appellation laws -- but this one is elegant and balanced vs. big and/or rustic as with many Sangiovese-based wines of Tuscany.  As natural as can be, but falls on the "classic" side of the natural taste spectrum - your dad would approve!

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