2017 Cantina Indigeno Rosato Calanchi
Region: Abruzzo < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, limestone “Calanchi” soils; spontaneous fermentation in open vats and skin contact for one day, 8 months in fiberglass; bottled unfiltered/unfined with no added sulfites; 11% ABV
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN? A bunch of things you don’t usually find in the same equation: fizz + big boy grape Montepulciano + zero additions (- mouse) = wild, dark pink, lightly effervescent rosato that drinks like a baby red and is natty AF but even your sister in the OC would love!
Cantina Indigeno is 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 cuvee (named after its particular type of poor limestone soil) – it’s a refreshing low-fizz, dark pink rosato that is definitely wild, but doesn’t stray too far into funk zone.