Thursday 9 November 2017

'Dinavolino' 2015, Giulio Armani

I’m a sucker for a specific sort of unspecific bottle labelling. 

Generalities in a world as specific as the wine one are right up there on my list of some of the most charming things in the world; a notch only below corduroy pants, basket collections and big format bottles with flip-tops and no labels. I associate etiquettes that state a precisely made wine’s percentage as imprecise and its grapes as unknown as belonging to the kinds of wines not intended to go further than the tables of the maker's friends and families. 

So, the best ones.

I also associate this sort of loose labelling with Italy. 

“Dinavolino,” listed on the menu as a ‘field blend,’ is one of these wines: precisely made with 25% imprecise varieties, 25% Ortrugo, 25% Marsanne and 25% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. And Italian.

The field belongs to La Stoppa’s head winemaker, Giulio Armani, and is where he makes his own wines since 2005 as Denavolo after the mountain that looks over his 5 ha of sloping, calcareous vineyards in north western Emilia-Romagna. The vineyards reach up to 400 m (with two parcels planted between 500-600 m) above the not too distant sea level, and the grapes that make “Dinavolino” come from 28-year old vines at the bottom of this slope, which starts at 350 m. 

They’re hand picked, de-stemmed and fermented on the skins for up to two weeks during which they undergo up to 7 pump-overs in the first few days to extract as much as possible. The wine is then aged in steel.

Ok so that’s one way to describe it, but here’s another: “Dinavolino” is like a summer storm system rolling in. It tastes like the air smells before it breaks: fleshy fruit like deeply pregnant clouds hanging heavy like a late August orchard. Heady winds of dried oranges and cloves at Christmas time mixed with sun-baked earth and the telltale green-purple glow of storm electricity. Then it breaks and the rain thrashes the cracked earth to expose hot limestone under low-growing basil, sage and dusty saffron. (Plus all the elevation stuff).

Tasting notes:

Orange Skittles-orange in the glass with aromas of orange peel curling on the stove, Amaretto cookies and lady bug bitters. The palate is a mouthful of a very ripe, very fleshy papaya-pineapple fruit salad with torn basil but not in a sickly, mom don’t make me eat the rest of this, way but more a: ’Hey mom did you know that for all that sun hitting these south facing vines I can still deduce a vein of fresh squeezed OJ acidity from those cool mountain nights?!’ 

Grate on some orange zest for its pithy bitterness and serve.


Denavolo, Giulio Armani 
25% Ortrugo, 25% Marsanne, 25% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, 25% unidentified varietals
Emilia-Romagna, Italy

4 months skin contact

© ( :. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig