Du Cropio ‘Dom Giuva’ Cirò Rosso
Cirò, Calabria 2015
*This wine is one of four featured in our January Italian Wine Club, hence the 3G notes below. Enjoy!
GRAPE: GAGLIOPPO – It is the most recognized grape in Calabria, though very few producers have been able to achieve such a serious and dynamic wine such as this one. The major challenge here is that Gaglioppo can have firm tannins but is lighter in color concentration and can be prone to oxidation. Most often Gaglioppo wines are made just a few shades darker than a Rosé (not unlike the ‘Rosina’) and are more simple, bright and easy drinking. If there is one family that has seemingly mastered this variety and stands as a beacon of hope for the potential of more serious Gaglioppo varietal wines, it is the Ippolito family.
GROWER: Du Cropio is run by Giuseppe Ippolito and is situated in the town of Cirò Marina, in the SouthEast corner facing the Ionian Sea. The soil, a mix of clay and limestone, has excellent drainage, which is reinforced by steeply sloped hillside vineyards; conditions that are ideal for producing small crops of highly concentrated fruit. He only makes the smallest amount of wines labeled ‘Du Cropio’ (about 2000 cases total) from his very best fruit, but is an important grower of organic grapes for other producers in the area as well.
GLASS: Tart red loganberries, black licorice, new leather and lavender are all neatly layered together from the get-go in this wine. This is very clearly the most complex wine of this month, and certainly the most complex wine from this grape I’ve ever had. That is not to say it’s heavy hitting by any means, in fact it’s quite the opposite.The mouthfeel is an elaborate study of intermingling fruits and earthy savoriness that makes for a cerebral experience in the glass. Acidity and tannins are clearly not an issue with the Gaglioppo grape, making this an incredibly age worthy wine to boot.
SIDE NOTES: Du Cropio, in local dialect, means ‘doctor of agronomy.’ Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore is a mouthful – here’s the breakdown: Cirò = the name of the DOC. Rosso = Red, clearly, but important because there are many DOCs in Italy that can be either red or white, including Cirò. Classico = delineates a smaller geographic area (sub-appellation) that is deemed historically ‘more important’ to the wine. Superiore = slightly more vague a term but generally points to a wine made from a better grape selection, which in turn can equal a slightly higher alcohol percentage than non-Superiore bottlings.