2020 Fontefico 'Portarispetto' Trebbiano Superiore
Region: Vasto < Abruzzo < Italy
Grape: Montepulciano d'AbruzzoVineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; iron, sand, clay soils; 31 day fermentation in stainless steel, then spends 12 months in steel before bottling, without fining or filtering or additional sulfur, then rests another 3 months in bottle; 12.5% ABV
Winemakers: Nicola and Emanuele Altieri
In 1996, brothers Nicola + Emanuele Altieri established Fontefico, a certified organic estate in the beautiful Vasto gulf on the Southern Abruzzo coast (think central Italy, east and opposite of Lazio and the city of Rome, bordering the Adriatic Sea). Supported by their dad Alessandro, an expert agronomist, the duo began to experiment the different estate’s vineyards with lots of micro-vinifications, always with fresh acidity and deep fruit thanks to the strong breeze coming from the Adriatic sea.
We first fell for their pink wine, the Cerasuolo, but we were pleasantly surprised by this “Portarispetto”, one of the most authentic expressions of the ancient grape, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. This grape grows prolifically in Abruzzo and is often made at large scale, rendering it quite characterless and boring. However, according to Nicola, if you grow its clusters "with love and respect, as we do, the Trebbiano becomes just amazing and can tell a lot about our Territory, with a special charm. Hence, the name, "Portarispetto" which means "bring respect to Trebbiano".
Which they've certainly done with this fresh, minerally rendition of Trebbiano -- crisp, green and herbaceous, with bright acid, a citrus tang and a rocky, salty finish, this is a gorgeous aperitivo or food wine for those who like Loire-style linear, mineral-driven whites. Pair with oysters, fish or veggie-forward dishes.