In front and to the right of our cellar in Calderara Sottana there are two parcels, in the midst of a larger vineyard that have survived phylloxera. They, therefore, are over 130 years old and stand on their original rootstock. In 2006 I decided to vinify the grapes from those parcels separately. 2006 was a splendid vintage, rather on the monumental side. These parcels yielded a wine of such unearthly finesse that, although the wine from the neighboring old vines was a real beauty, the Prephylloxera, displaying a very similar character, seemed to feed from heavenly pastures: the quintessence of Calderara. It is a bit shier and will need more time than its younger sibling. I rarely advice decanting a wine, but in this case I do. Its elegance is measured, its authority understated, its sophistication effortless. A grand wine. I suggest many savoury fine courses in very moderate quantities. Allow the wine to grow as the dinner does.
Varietals of grapes: 98% Nerello mascalese, 2% Nerello cappuccio
Extension of the vineyard: 1 ha
Yield per hectare: 3-3,5 tons/ha
Characteristics of the soil: volcanic, shallow, rich in rocks, traces of ash
Exposure: northern slope of Mount Etna, 600 meters a.s.l.
Average age of the vines: the vines are previous to the phylloxera plague happened in late 1800
Type of cultivation: en goblet and modified en goblet
Harvest: first decade of October
Vinification: alcoholic fermentation under controlled temperature (28-30° C)
Aging: spontaneous malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barriques, tonneaux. Bottling after 16-18 months of wood aging and 1 month in steel.
Colour: intense ruby with mahogany hues
Nose: complex, with notes of wild flowers, red fruits and noble spices
Flavour: concentrated, but also balanced and elegant a t the same time, long-lasting pleasure
Food matches: red meat, game, seasoned cheese
Suggested serving temperature: 18-20° C
Alcohol %: 14,5%
Annual production: 6.500 bottles (0,75 l)