Casa Comerci ‘Rosina’
100% Magliocco Canino
Nicotera, Calabria 2015
*This wine is one of four featured in our January Italian Wine Club, hence the 3G notes below. Enjoy!
GRAPE: MAGLIOCCO CANINO – The Magliocco family of grapes is a bit of an enigma, more like a tangled ball of twine with multiple synonyms both throughout history and in modern day. Its multiple identities are finally starting to be unravelled as the different genetic signatures are more readily identified throughout Calabria. Magliocco Canino is one that is easier to spot but that certainly does not make it any easier to work with for winemakers. In the vineyard it is notorious for tightly packed bunches that ripen extremely unevenly, and in the cellar it is prone to reductivity- a flaw that gives it a bit of a ‘rustic’ or ‘funky’ reputation.
GROWER: Domenico Silipo and his sons carry on the work of Rosina Comerci, matriarch of the family in the first half of the 1900s. Their beautiful organically farmed vineyard (and olive trees, of course) in the deep South can truly be described as Postcard Perfect. This part of Calabria enjoys warm breezes from the Sahara Desert that reach a coastline peppered with half-abandoned villages hanging off cliffs on the sea, complete with a backdrop of furrowed mountains. Francesco De Franco from A’ Vita, Calabria’s most important natural wine producer, is also an active part of this project. So rest assured that all their wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and all fermentation and aging is in stainless steel with minimum sulphur (if any.) Production is tiny (550 cases) and we are thankful to be recipients of this beautiful wine.
GLASS: Red wine… or Rosé? Perhaps this exists happily right in the middle. You decide! No forcing it into one side or the other for our sake! Sour cherries, hibiscus tea and strawberry fruit leather (that’s fruit roll-ups for people who were raised on the store bought version, like me.) Light dusty tannins linger on the palate following a refreshing saturation of blood orange fruit and just a touch of ‘Big Red’ cinnamon. Certainly a much bigger mouthfeel than what we’re accustomed to in a Rosé wine, but the ripping acid is something much more familiar to the category and holds your salivary glands hostage for an extended period of time. This combination of fruity weight and crisp finish are designed to be a perfect match for infamously spicy Calabrian food… a few notches deeper into red wine tannins would cause a fight on the palate.
SIDE NOTES: As mentioned earlier; the family matriarch who established the estate name was Rosina Comerci, and there she is! (I’m all for more stylized drawings of Nonnas on labels.) Rosina also refers to the color of this rosato / light red wine. Best to serve this wine at an ‘in between’ temp- not too cold, not too warm (never warm, actually, but you see where I’m going here.) Just right, some might say. Why Nonna… what bright fruit you have!