That’s the liking company in the Marche region (Centre of Italy). No more schematic, ingested, formal, rigid presentations. La Calcinara is a smart, young and jaunty company, as a modern “start-up” (as it would be said today) that breathes through the image of its owners: Paolo and Eleonora Berluti brothers. They are a tangible example of the enthusiasm and liveliness with which the Conero area offers, for some time, so many excellent red wines that deserve to be known more and better.
The company was founded in 1997, just in Calcinara district at Candia village (in Ancona zone), by the business step of Mario Berluti, expert in the wine sector. Two years later, the first 4 hectares of vineyards Montepulciano are planted in the 20 hectares of land, with spurred cordon cultivation system. The project is to interact, in the best possible way, the Montepulciano grape with Candia’s soil. In 2005 the new wine cellar was founded and in 2007 the first wine came to light: “Folle” (that means Crazy). Today Calcinara has 9 total hectares of vineyards.
Over the years, the expert Mario gave a “carte blanche” to his sons, Paolo and Eleonora, in the company’s management, and now I can say with certainty that he was right. Paolo and Eleonora are really two good young people with their heads on straight: they really love the world of wine and have studied it in all its facets.
Paolo, a graduate of Viticulture and Oenology, has worked for a few months in New Zealand as a specialized technician at Hunter’s Winery in Marlborough. Then he moved in Chile, where he discovered the fascination of organic and biodynamic agriculture, and then in Bordeaux, where he learned the art of refinement and blending well wines.
Eleonora has done about the same path. Joined the Graduate Degree in Viticulture and Oenology in Ancona, she completed her studies at the Faculté d’Oenologie in Bordeaux. For her, wine is definitely “living matter”. Like the beings who live on this land, wine also talks part in nature’s complex cycle, it’s born, evolves, grows old and dies. And it renews itself with each season, each time like an inscription in time that doesn’t repeat itself.
Two young wine-makers can give birth anything but a red wine, excellent, wich reflects their interior characters. This wine is “Folle” (The Mad or The Crazy, as you prefer), Conero Rosso Riserva (Red Conero Reserve) DOCG vintage 2012 that I would like to introduce you as a “Wine of the Week”. Recently, I tasted it, at a dinner with the two young producers, and I like to tell you here.
Tasting notes. Dense and impenetrable ruby red. Small touches bouquet, no impudent. Beautiful spicy note, as blackberry jam, balsamic background, light cardamom, rosemary. Taste is fine, powerful, but well-balanced, shows well-balanced tannins, and really is a silky red, nervous, somewhat “crazy” wine. It has 15% alcohol and does not feel in mouth. Produced in 3,500 bottles. First vintage produced: 2007.
Some technical data: 100% Montepulciano grapes. Vinification: 10°C maceration for 4 days with manual crushing, fermentation, followed by further maceration in full tanks for a contact with the skins for a total of 45 days. Malolactic fermentation on the skins. Racking and batonnage for the following two months. Aging for 18 months in new French oak barriques, then 6 months of assembly and another 12 months of aging in the bottle.
Wine-food matching: excellent on sliced beef with spices seasoned with balsamic vinegar.
Retail price: € 22 – $ 26; My rating: 92/100