From Vine Farmer:
Aris Blancardi’s Selvadolce farm is endowed with breathtaking coastal vines: overlooking the sea and marked by the fierce Mistral winds that also define the Rhone Valley and nearby Provence. Seeing Selvadolce, smelling the complex mélange of plants and life mixed with a kiss of the sea and winds from the mountains, it all makes sense. This is complex land.
The reuslts at Selvadolce turn almost all popular wisdom about "natural" and "conventional" wines upside down. The wines are routinely opened days before tasting with no oxidation. They never re-ferment in bottle despite sometimes having residual sugar and no added sulfites. This is in sharp contrast to the mass of “natural” wines that barely make it to the next town with any vitality.
The secret is patience and not coercing the wines in any way. Wines are fermented and aged in old oak, on the fine lees, for as long as is needed – if a fermentation takes 3 years to finish, so be it. Aris explains that natural stability is always achieved when the wines are given the time and latitude to determine their own path. Paolo Bea and Nikolaihof in Austria achieve parallel results using similar methods.
For me, I cannot recall ever tasting such beautiful white wines with almost no fruit aromas. The aromas are of the land - rocks, salt, herbs, flowers - and perhaps some fruit. It simply works; the wines have soaring aromatics that pull the drinker in closer with each smell. A bottle here and there is typically all that can be found as most are snapped up quickly upon release by those in the know. Each bottle bears the number produced that vintage; a clear reminder that nature is in charge.
The Wine - Crescendo is the only selection of young vine Pigato (planted in the early 2000's). Crescendo shares similar production techniques with Rebosso - primary and malolactic fermentation in old oak without skin contact, with aging in old oak on the fine lees and periodic battonage. The wine is never forced at any stage of evolution and always remains fresh. Crescendo is slightly more lifted and less floral than Rebosso - we find more of a lemon edge and palpable salinity. Like Rebosso, the aromas are so ancient and primal that one's impression is that wine couldn't get any more real. It's a touch more masculine and powerful overall, with a horizontally expanding palate.
June 2020 Check In - This wine needs a bit more time than Rebosso does; the aromas are a little bit less engaging and hold the drinker more at arm's length. Even so, the wine is beautiful and dignified. Somehow, it reminds me of a sunset over the ocean where rays of pink sun peak out from behind clouds, creating tails of fading light spreading out from the horizon. I love the salinity note and powerful palate. Power like this is truly rare for "natural" wine.