2019 Tenuta di Castellaro Bianco Porticello
Region: Isola di Lipari < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: Carricante, MoscatoVineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic, dry farming, high-altitude vineyards on sandy volcanic soils; Moscato fermented in stainless and the Carricante in oak, on lees, for 3 months; minimal SO2 at bottling only; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Salvo Foti
NEW VINTAGE! Lipari is a volcanic island in the Aeolian archipelago a few hours off
the coast of mainland Sicily, known mostly for its tiny production of sweet passito wines made from dried Malvasia delle Lipari grapes. But there is one guy making stellar dry wines, and not just from Malvasia. And after visiting him a few years back, we've never been able to forget this gorgeous island or the transportive wines. The man is Massimo Lentsch, a businessman from Bergamo, who founded Tenuta di
Castellaro with his wife Stefania Frattolio in 2006. Massimo picked us up in a rustic jeep and drove us to the top of the island to visit vineyards surrounded on all sides by the Aeolian sea, where vines shared the volcanic soil with robust caper plants. After that, we shared an epic lunch with his family, and jugs of his simple, perfect white wine. We're so happy to be bringing you this quintessential island white, an idyllic postcard of summer to brighten up these wish-washy spring days.
The estate is a member of the I Vigneri (as signaled by the gnarled old vine embossed on the bottle), a winegrowers' guild that dates back to 1435 but was resurrected by Lentsch's consultant Salvo Foti, the godfather of low-intervention wine in Sicily, and missionary for high-density bush vines planted in the traditional quincunx formation.
Today, it's a group of small producers who share Foti's winemaking expertise along with physical resources like harvest crew and donkeys to work the fields.
And the wine -- it's a blend of floral, aromatic Moscato with tangy, grapefruit-driven Carricante that smells like honey and flowers, but on the bone-dry palate you get chalky minerality, sea spray and nectarines. Super refreshing and delicious, it's a day drinker, a poolside wine, a wine for seafood or pasta and friends.