2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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The white Sciare Vive—named for the numerous lava flows that ruthlessly bisect the Etnean landscape—is a field blend of mainly Carricante along with other local varieties such as Minnella, Grecanico, and Catarratto. The voluptuous texture is a result of a short skin maceration, an ancient tradition for local whites, while its aroma is purely Mediterranean: smoke, resin, wild herbs, fennel, flowers, a tender touch of honey . . . Ethereal and full of grace, this sophisticated white ranks among the Mediterranean’s finest.
|Blend:||90% Carricante, 10% indigenous varieties (Minnella, Inzolia, Grecancico, Catarratto)|
|Vineyard:||1.5 ha total, vines 40-100 years old|
Carmelo Vecchio and his wife, Rosa La Guzza, did not come from afar to make wine on Etna: they are true locals, raised in the heart of the vineyards. Carmelo began working at the nearby Passopisciaro winery at a young age, and after fifteen years of hands-on experience, the time came to strike out on his own. From barely one hectare of vines up to 130 years old inherited from Rosa’s family, the couple took matters into their own hands: sustainable farming by hand, with the goal of achieving an elegant balance in the grapes; micro-vinifications in the tiny cellar beneath their home, with respect for tradition and terroir; and aging the wines in used barrels before bottling without fining or filtration.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171
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