Tasting: Bright, juicy minerality, sunny orange, and grapefruit, salty finish. Pairing: Spicy Thai, Szechuan food, spicy Indian curries.
Grape: Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Passerina
Trebbiano is widely planted across Italy and there are at least 6 different varieties of the grape including Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbiano Romagnolo, Trebbiano Giallo, Trebbiano Spoletino and Trebbiano Modense. However, Italy's most exciting Trebbiano, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, is thought to not actually be a Trebbiano at all but probably the Bombino Bianco of Puglia, but this has yet to be proved by DNA profiling. This makes it highly likely that it is related to Trebbiano Spoletino. Trebbiano Spoletino was rescued from extinction by Cantina Novelli in Umbria at the beginning of this century.
Passerina is both a rare local white grape that is found in the Marche, in Italy and a DOC for wines of the same name. Many researchers have studied its identity, so to boast an extensive bibliography and a high number of citations of the grapes on the most famous treatises of ampelography. However, its origins remain uncertain. Known by various names such as "Pagadebito Gentile", "Campolese" and "Uva Passera", the term "Passerina" is attributed to those grapes that have small berries often devoid of seeds. Passerina is used in some Marche wine blends, including the DOC Falerio dei Colli Ascolani. Passerina has large berries, high yields and a long ripening period. It makes appealing wines with clear, focused fruit.
Region: Abruzzo, Italy
Abruzzo is a mountainous region in entral Italy with a significant coastline on the Adriatic sea to the south of Marche and is a very important producer of wine. It is the seventh of Italy's highest producing regions, with total gallons in 2011 at 53 million. Abruzzo is particularly known for two varieties, Montepulciano and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.
Controvento, meaning “Upwind” in Italian, is a 5 hectare vineyard in the Rocca San Giovanni region of Abruzzo just off the Adriatic Sea. Enzo’s farm, situated partially in a valley with the backdrop of the beautiful Adriatic in the distance, is a completely organically-run vineyard. Vines are grown on calcareous soil and cooled by the salty breeze of the Adriatic Sea. Fertilized with only winter green manure, the vines are pruned under the waning moon and zero chemicals of any kind are ever used. Enzo’s philosophy of wine-making is strict, allowing the grapes to flourish in each and every bottle. Enzo said after visiting Cantina that he wanted to make wines like his Grandfather did, in the purest possible form, therefore, he never fines, clarifies, filters, or uses any sulphur and always allows for spontaneous fermentation.
The vines of this farm are between 21 and 23 years old. Grape varietals are mostly Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo and Trebbiano, but Fiano, Passerina, Malvasia and Cabernet all exist in smaller quantities.
Farming: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic.
Vinification: A blend of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Passerina (a rare, local varietal). Meaning, “Cold Shower” in Italian, Doccia Fredda is a supremely refreshing, slightly orange wine. After being hand-harvested from a similarly sea-facing & clay-soil site where the vines are anywhere from 21-23 years old, the grapes undergo spontaneous fermentation in steel tanks, macerating on the skins for 5 days. Unfined, unfiltered, no addition of sulphur.
About the Winemaker: Vincenzo Di Meo is a second generation winemaker. Controvento is a small winery from Abruzzo. The company was founded by his father in 1978. He took control of the company 11 years ago and has been the sole propietor and winemaker ever since.
Controvento is certified organic, and 100% Natural. They absolutely no chemicals on their vines and in the cellar, no addition or manipulation of any kind is done during the vinification process. The wines never have any So2, are never clarified, never fined and are allowed to spontaneously ferment.