2018 Valentina Passalacqua Sottoterra Rosso 1L
Region: Apricena < Puglia < Italy
Grapes: Nero di Troia
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming; rocky, limestone, marble soils with calcified seashells; 4-day maceration in stainless on the skins with no temperature control, and bottled unfined/unfiltered under crown cap with <30ppm added SO2; 11% ABV
Winemaker: Valentina Passalacqua
Valentina Passalacqua is a trailblazing young natural winemaker in Puglia, a region not exactly known for biodynamic, no sulfur wines. She took over her family’s land (used only for cattle grazing since 1900), located inside Gargano National Park, to create a diverse farm that includes indigenous grape varietals. Her family considered the land too difficult, too poor, for crops, not realizing that they were actually sitting on a precious marble mine – or soil that happens to be amazing for vines. The rocky, mineral-rich soil does not retain water (also great for vines), and proximity to the sea means cooling breezes and ventilation (another plus). Valentina’s wines are pure, elegant, never soupy as you sometimes see in wines from Puglia (it’s hot there). Because, she is careful about canopy management (to ensure grapes don’t get cooked) and picks early to retain freshness and acidity.
These liter bottles are her fun take on Puglian glou glou. This lightly-macerated Nero di Troia, meant to be a fresh, chillable red, is bright and zippy and tastes like sour cherries, plums and purple flowers on the rocks. With a crown cap, no added So2, biodynamic certification, an adorable label designed by Valentina’s young daughters, and just 11% ABV, this is the perfect spring red, for the season’s first grilling action or outside day drinking. Be sure to chill for 30 minutes before popping.