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2020 Vino Rosso “Passatella” 1 Liter

Steiger-Kalena

A toothsome red wine showing deep, wild fruit of alluring levity, “Passatella” comes in convivial one-liter bottles perfect for sharing.


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Molise is perhaps Italy’s least-known region, and while its small wine culture is still largely unknown beyond its borders, this mountainous enclave tucked between Abruzzo and Puglia is nonetheless home to traditions of its own, its undulating, sunbaked terrain offering enormous potential for fine wine.
      After years living abroad, Giulio Steiger and his wife Margarita settled in Casacalenda, a commune situated roughly halfway between the capital city of Campobasso and the Adriatic coast, determined to create high-quality wines in Giulio’s native land. From 2015 to 2018, they planted twelve hectares of the region’s typical grape varieties—Montepulciano, Aglianico, and the native Tintilia—on west-facing slopes of limestone, clay, and sand. With a climate influenced by both the Apennines and the sea, along with the moderating effect of the nearby Lake Guardialfiera, this picturesque area has all the makings of a great wine terroir. Recognizing this potential, Giulio and Margarita built their azienda from the ground up, meticulously planning each step and refusing to take any shortcuts along the way.
      The young couple’s “Passatella” bottling has arrived in their inaugural shipment to Berkeley, and it makes a very strong case for Italy’s second-smallest region. A toothsome red wine showing deep, wild fruit of alluring levity, “Passatella” comes in convivial one-liter bottles perfect for sharing at a barbecue as the smoky smell of grilled meats starts wafting through the air, or for enhancing a family dinner of pasta with tomato sauce (yes, a couple does count as a family!). Give it some air or a quick decant and serve ever-so-slightly chilled to best appreciate the unique flavors and textures of this crunchy, soulful rosso from a previously unheralded corner of Italy. You might find Molise to be your new favorite wine region!

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 1L
Blend: 50% Montepulciano, 35% Aglianico, 15% Tintilia
Country: Italy
Region: Molise
Producer: Steiger-Kalena
Winemaker: Giulio Steiger
Vineyard: Planted in 2016, 12 ha total
Soil: Clay, limestone
Aging: Ages about 6 months in large neutral oak casks
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13%

About The Region

Molise

Molise map

Italy’s second-smallest region by surface area and population, Molise is a mountainous enclave tucked along the Adriatic Sea between Abruzzo to the north and Puglia to the south. Its western side, bordering Campania, consists of Apennine peaks that gradually descend toward the coastline. With a range of climate zones from Mediterranean along the Adriatic to continental in the higher inland areas, with temperate foothills in between, there is great potential for fine wine production in Molise.
While winemaking here predates the Roman Empire, the region’s isolation and mountainous nature has prevented it from achieving the productivity or commercial success of some of its neighbors. The first commercial bottlings date back to the 1970s near the coast, and in the 1990s more independent producers began popping up, but without really focusing on quality. Molise still has a high proportion of home winemakers who vinify for familial consumption relative to other regions, although in recent years some newer producers have made a concerted effort to create serious wine on a commercial scale. Steiger-Kalena, the first and only Molise producer to grace KLWM shelves, is an exciting example of this shift toward quality, and a delightful demonstration of what is capable in this secluded region.

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