2018 Danilo Marcucci 'Brioso' Sangiovese Rosato Frizzante
Region: Monte Melino < Umbria < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Zero-input, organic farming; made in the ancestral method with one fermentation in the bottle; zero added SO2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Danilo Marcucci
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN? Pretty pink pet’nat from our winemaker crush, Danilo Marcucci, that isn’t as frothy as it looks – it’s like an iron fist in a velvet glove, with concentration, power and red wine tannins.
Danilo Marcucci is one of the most outspoken and authoritative natural winemakers in Italy, and widely regarded as a true master of the craft – and in some circles, the wine whisperer. He travels the length of Italy working as a consultant to several wineries, but instead of trying to leave his own stamp on each project he collaborates with the owners to maximize the expression of their own fruit and terroir (try to explain this one to the French!) Each wine has its own personality but uniquely represents its place and the people behind it. Luckily, he married into a family, the Conestabile della Staffas, who happened to own a bit of land. This is a minor understatement as this noble Umbrian family formerly oversaw hundreds of acres of agriculture in the 1700s, producing over 10,000 hectoliters of wine. Production gradually declined and the two World Wars effectively ended it altogether, with the last wine produced in 1956. The property and vines were left untended, but no chemicals were ever used. Enter Danilo. Years after marrying heiress Alessandra, he finally focused his efforts on the family property, rehabilitating the vineyards and making wine with the indigenous varieties that had been growing there. Like the Sangiovese that goes into his Brioso fizz, a wine that happened by accident -- one morning a few years back he noticed that wild boars had been eating the grapes in one particular vineyard spot, so Danilo decided to harvest those grapes on the spot to save them from the boars. Because the grapes weren't super ripe, he decided to make a frizzante wine with them, which was so delicious and popular that it became a regular thing. THANK GOD. Because it is the pet’nat that so many aspire to be. An effervescent journey into deliciousness, a glass of strawberries and rocks dipped in gold glitter, the purest essence of red Sangiovese fruit delivered in a million tiny bubbles. F***ing SUPERB.