Rallo Azienda Agricola, Vicoletto Catarratto, IGP Sicily, Italy, 2021
On the west side of Sicily close to Marsala, is where Rallo Azienda Agricola calls home.
Working organically, the Vesco family focus on creating fragrant crisp Catarratto and perfumed fresh Nero d'Avola from their hillside vineyards. These vineyards are certified organic and are nestled high up in the hills south of Alcamo to take advantage of the slightly cooler temperatures and greater diurnal differences. The vines look down on the town of Marsala where, when the grapes have been harvested, they are taken. Here Andrea Vesco treats them with respect, utilising modern technology to ensure the freshness is retained for the final wines and creating elegant examples of the varieties that are anything but what you would expect from such a hot land.
The Cataratto grapes are grown in sandy soils in Patti Piccolo- Alcamo. They use a vertical trellis system training with low guyot pruning. Night harvested when the grapes are cool to retain acidity and freshness.
Soft pressing of the whole grapes, the must is fermented in steel tanks, with a 24 hour maceration of the grapes and must followed by a second soft pressing. Temperature is controlled at 16 to 20°C for 14 days followed by malolactic fermentation then matured in stainless steel for 3 months before bottling. No fining, no filtration, no stabilisation.
No oak ageing
This ‘Orange’ wine is straw yellow, bright but slightly turbid in colour thanks to the natural approach to winemaking, with no stabilisation, fining or filtration which results in a wine with very low sulphur levels. The bouquet is a wonderful mix of citrus, grapefruit, apple and white flesh fruits that all but mask the hint of elderberry and pleasant notes of Mediterranean flora.
Best lightly chilled to around 14°C rather than served straight from the refrigerator with Sicilian pasta asciutta/ bolognaise or pane e panelle (chickpea fritters).
6 x 75cl