Madonna delle Grazie "Messer Oto" 2016Regular price $21.00 Save $-21.00
DIRECT PRESS SELECTION | July, 2021
- Press 4 Mix
- Press 4 Red
The Latoracca family who make the Madonna delle Grazie wines are located in Basilicata, a remote and sparsely-populated region in southern Italy. Vines are planted at about 500m on the black, volcanic soils of Mount Vulture. Aglianico from this region is not markedly different from that grown in Campania, though they don't often get as much attention. This is still a hearty, substantial, full-bodied red, but it's got enough finesse to be a great summer wine. Younger vines around 35 years old are put into steel tanks whole cluster for a long maceration of 30-45 days.
Dark, pungent aromas are met with cranberry, cherry, red fruits and herbs that lift the wine and keep it fresh. There are lots of chewy, minerally tannins here as well. There's a lot to sink your teeth into but it somehow retains enough phenolics to keep the wine cleansing and energetic. This is a great wine for summer cookouts and grilled meats, but it has the bite to hold its own with tomatoes, too.
In addition to being certified organic, the Latoracca family has many heriloom plantings of Aglianico that are the result of many years of keeping these unique cuttings alive. This is very important since nearly 90% of the Aglianico in the area is from a clone introduced about 30 years ago that was engineered for maximizing quantity, and it barely resembled the version planted there historically. Money from the EU is now being put into the work or restoring the local biotypes, but at Madonna delle Grazie, all of their vines are from the heirloom cuttings maintained by 81 year-old Giuseppe Latoracca and his father. Their knowledge has been passed down to the next generation, led by Paolo and Michele. Their brother Gianfranco, an architect in Canada, designs their labels. [Jonathan Kemp, June 2021]