Altura - 2018 - Rosso Saverio
Canaiolo, Malvasia, Mammolo
The Altura project is an homage to the island of Giglio and how it transformed Francesco Carfagna's life. For those unfamiliar with Giglio, it's a small island 10 miles off the coast of Tuscany and only accessible by water ferry. Francesco Carfagna, originally from Rome, fell in love all over again: once more with Giglio and then with a young woman vacationing there (his wife Gabriella). In 1987, Francesco opened a restaurant called Arcobaleno in Castello, the main town of the island. There he served what he referred to as "Vini Vivi" ("Alive Wines"). He ran it full time with Gabriella until 1999, when they found some abandoned vines and terraces and set out to refinish the dry walls and rehabilitate the old vines and planting new ones on a high, granitic cliff directly above the Tyrrhenian. With a posse of friends and family, Francesco decided the time had come to bring back Ansonaco, the native grape that at one time covered this island. It's a variety of golden color with grapes of ovoidal shape. In Francesco and his daughter Irene's hands, it makes rich white wines bursting with the sea's umami.
This wine is a blend of 13 co-planted varietals including some white grapes. Isolated on the south side of the island, the only way to access the vines is to take a small dirt road that can only be navigated with four wheel drive then walk down to the vineyard. During harvest, cases are walked back up to the truck. Maceration is very long, usually about a year. The wine is only racked the following year's harvest to make room for the new crop. It ferments and ages in stainless steel. Small amount of sulfur is added at press. (Louis Dressner)