From Vine Farmer:
Chiara Ciavolich’s land holdings are in the heart of Abruzzo, benefiting from extreme diurnal temperature changes and fewer clouds due to nearby mountain ranges. Chiara is known in the EU for crafting sleek, refined expressions of Montepulciano, Pecorino, and Trebbiano that far transcend the bulk wine reputation of the region. There is a contemporary elegance to her classically proportioned wines, as there is to her - entirely Italian, entirely Abruzzo.
In the early 2000's, Chiara was compelled to better understand the wines of her ancestors who migrated to the area in the 1500's - she even has an incredible cellar dating back to that time with a storied local history of being occupied by the SS during the Second World War. Of this desire, the crown jewels of her farm were born - the rare and singular "Fosso Cancelli" wines. The Fosso Cancelli bottles are made from the finest plots (generally old vines), crushed in a wooden basket press, fermented with native yeasts in old oak and/or amphora without temperature control and bottled entirely by hand. These moving and very fine wines are a culmination of her mission and passion, embodying everything that Vine Farmer humbly champions.
The Wine - The grapes for the Fosso Cancelli Pecorino come from 2 plots - One Tendone Pergole trained (planted in 2000) and the other Cordon Guyot trained (planted in 2011). The soil composition is primarily loam and clay. Native yeast fermentation via the pied-de-cuve method is carried out in old, non-toasted, 15 hl Slavonian oak barrels, immediately following grape crushing in a traditional wooden basket. After spontaneous malolactic fermentation, the wine is then racked into other 15hl Slavonian oak barrels and aged on the fine lees for 2 years.
The resulting wine is dense and concentrated at its core yet has an outwardly expansive feeling and airy aromatics from the slow oxygen contact afforded by oak fermentation and aging. The wine is in no way oxidized in feel, yet it does not possess the inward feel of wine raised entirely in inox or stainless steel. We find a kaleidoscopic range of aromas, from fresh citrus, to herbs, to honey and pear. There is a delicacy and nuance present, although the wine is quite layered - a paradox, in some ways, as particularly fine wines tend to be.
February 2020 Check In - This is such a pretty wine today; I love the vivid honey, floral and citrus scents that effortlessly emerge from the glass. This wine has the detail layering and poise that's expected at elite levels. Where the Fosso Cancelli Trebbiano has a grander feeling as it hums along, this wine is a touch more structured and classic in build. This will be doubt we better in 5 years but provides a thrilling drinking experience today. A decant isn't needed, but this wine should be enjoyed over the course of an evening as its evolution can be tracked - is surely changes a lot in the glass, like a chameleon.