2016 CASALE DEL GIGLIO, CESANESE LAZIO IGP, ROSSO
Author: Nik Rasula
About the Backstory: In 1914, three brothers – Emidio, Isidoro and Antonio Santarelli established a prosperous vino & olii (wine & oil) business in Rome, Italy; operating 11 retail outlets throughout The Eternal City. In 1955, a next generation – Emidio’s son Dino – expanded operations, exporting Azzuri wines to the Italian ex-pat community in Canada.
About the Vision: Trebbiano and Malvasia, the traditional wines of the region of Lazio, were historically produced for prompt consumption in the tourist cafés of Rome. Made to less-than world standards, they suffered issues of both reputation and potential. In 1967, a third generation of Santarellis – Dino’s son Antonio – focused on raising the bar, and working alongside Trentino Oenologist, Paolo Tiefenthaler (in collaboration with distinguished research institutions) began experimenting with grape varietals and best practices gleaned the world over. It was then Padre & Figlio Santarelli formed Casale Del Giglio, judiciously converting property in the Agro-Pontino Valley (50 km south of Rome) into a world-class vineyard and winemaking operation.
About Terroir: Situated on the left, midway up the boot near the archeological city of Satricum, rich soils of red clay and mountain alluvium provide fertile vine terra. Gentle breezes from the Tyrrhenian Sea offer moderation and coveted daily temperature diurnals to Lazio’s Warm Mediterranean environs.
About the Grape: Indigenous to the region, Cesanese is a small berried, low-yield red grape requiring extended hang time (late October harvest). Known in various dialects as Bambino, Senero, Sancinera, and Mangiatora, it is vintage volatile and well suited to Lazio’s warm environs.
About the Wine: Blackish purple in-glass, the nose suggests notes of mint, violet and Italian plum. Given the wine’s inky appearance, the mouth is lighter than anticipated; with refreshing flavours of mint, slightly under-ripe blackberry, and dark cherry. The tannins are pleasing, and the finish is long.
About Pairing: Osso bucco, rabbit/beef stew, sausage ravioli, cassoulet (meat or veggie)
About Sustainability: Certified Organic by Suolo E Natura
About Alcohol Level: 13% abv
About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability.