2018 Andrea Occhipinti Lazio Rosso 'Arcaico'
Region: Gradoli < Lazio > Italy
Grapes: Aleatico, Grechetto Rosso
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, volcanic soil; destemmed and fermented for over a month in clay amphora, before further aging in clay for 3 months; bottled bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Andrea Occhipinti
Andrea Occhipinti (no relation to Sicilan superstar Adriana Occhipinti) started his eponymous winery to focus on indigenous Lazio grape: Grechetto Rosso and Bianco, and Aleatico. From vineyards on volcanic soils on the shore of Lake Bolseno (the largest volcanic lake in Europe), very close to the Tuscan border and just north of Rome, Occhipinti has been experimenting with stylistic iterations of these little seen local grapes, playing with amphora, skin-contact, red/white co-ferments and more fun stuff.
His 'Arcaico' is a fuzzy cherry red in the glass, with delicate aromatics: cherries, purple flowers, crushed rocks. You get that same red fruit in the glass, but here the cherries are slightly sour and prickly, and the rocks translate as soft, chalky tannins. It's a subtle, highly drinkable wine with surprising intensity (thanks to the volcanic soil) and refreshing acidity for a light red.
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED