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Pecorino, Fosso Cancelli 2016 by Ciavolich | 2016


We're in Loreto Aprutino, home of the untouchable icon, the late Edoardo Valentini. Here, Montepulciano and Trebbiano d'Abruzzese make some of Italy's most sought after wines, but don't overlook Pecorino, which is experiencing a comeback. Pecorino is a bit of a chameleon. When it's made in steel and bottled youthfully, it has a sea salt core with enticing smells of rosemary and lemon basil. Then, there are the more complex versions, aged in amphora or barrel which color-in the lines and add texture. This is Ciavolich, Fosso Cancelli. 

Chiara Ciavolich is truly one to watch. In fact, there is very little written English literature on her, but you can translate her insightful blogs from Italian. The Fosso Cancelli series is a collection of wines (white and red) that evoke a "past world" — spontaneously fermented wines, aged in ancient materials like concrete, oak, and terracotta. This 2016 Pecorino, planted by Chiara's father, grows in loamy-clay vineyards within the villages of Pianella and Loreto Aprutino. Hand-picked and fermented in a combination of terracotta amphorae and old French tonneaux, the wine is aged for 2 years in large Slavonian oak and bottled unfiltered (of course). At 13.5% alcohol, the wine unfolds and fills-in all the nooks of your palate with peach fuzz, citrus preserve, and salt-crusted stone. It's a foolproof match for white pizza, buttery pasta, and pan-fried fish, but just like the cheese, it's all-too tempting just on its own!