2018 Denavolo Catavela
Grapes: Malvasia Aromatica di Candia, Marsanne, Ortrugo, Trebbiano Romagnolo
Region: Colli Piacentini> Emilia-Romagna > Italy
Vineyard / Cellar Stats: Organic/biodynamic farming with serious biodiversity in the vineyard; calcareous soils; fermentation in steel with a 7-day skin maceration; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero-added So2; 9% ABV
Winemaker: Giulio Armani
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN? Orange wine for everybody! Nothing weird or overly tannic here, Catavela is all light, fresh, floral, salty goodness in a drink-the-whole-bottle-yourself 9% ABV package.
Giulio Armani has a lot of experience making natural wine. He has been the winemaker at natty wine stalwart La Stoppa in Piacenza for a long time. But we’re really loving the wines from his own side project: DENAVOLO, from a small isolated vineyard high up in the hills of Emilia-Romagna. Perched precariously on the top of the foothills in the far western portion of Emilia-Romagna near Piacenza and not far from the sea, his vineyards start at 300m and top out at 750m. Here, the vines produce very small berries with high skin to must ratios, a fact Giulio leverages to make white wines with extended skin contact. This also allows him to use zero additions in his winemaking. With only 7 days on the skins, Catavela is Guilio’s baby orange wine, with just a kiss of tannin and texture underlying the vivid, aromatic stone fruit, salinity and minerality. This wine is very transparent – you can taste the limestone, the wind, and the sun, and also Guilio’s skill in making such a refreshing, all-purpose and squeaky-clean orange wine that nobody would call weird. Serve chilled but not icy cold.