Wine from the Veronelli Collection and a distinguished Italian private cellar: Ciro and other southern Italian wine

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For once we have a perfect seasonal fit because Ciro (or more accurately, Gaglioppo, the Ciro grape) is a wintery kind of wine, structured and intense in a manner similar to Taurasi. Ciro is a wine that can make Barolo seem shy (interestingly, to me, like Nebbiolo, Gaglioppo tends to precipitate its color components, so old Gaglioppo can be quite pale in color); with sufficient time, good Ciro can mellow in ways that are also reminiscent of old Nebbiolo, gaining complexity and even elegance. I did once drink Ciro in the summer, served in tumblers while we stood around a bonfire. Eventually someone put a grate on the coals and threw lamb chops on the very hot fire - maybe 2 minutes a side - which we then ate with our hands - a truly memorable combo with the Ciro. Similarly rustic food - stew, osso bucco, mushrooms come to mind  - will be very welcoming to Ciro.

Several years ago we had a dinner with a large group of old friends and (in some cases) even older wine from Ciro, including some very old Calabrian whites. Not every bottle was perfect (unlike our experience with wine from the Veronelli cellar), but the overall take-away was that Ciro aged very well indeed, as did the white wines.

The Castel del Monte                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castel del Monte is an architectural folly (from the mid 1300s) that gives its name to one of only two DOCG districts in Puglia (the second is for sweet wine) - a sign of the importance and high quality of the local Nero di Troia grape that makes up most of the blend of the eponymous wine.

 

 

 

 

Luigi Veronelli in his cellar                                

 

 

The Veronelli cellar was very hard on labels – too humid for paper (fine for corks). We sometimes clean old bottles to remove years of dust and dirt so that they are more conventional in appearance, but this time we’ve decided that you would enjoy sharing the kick we get out of having the wines as-is, direct from the cellar; it’s part of the pleasure of the history of these bottles. Jamie Wolff

Read more about Luigi Veronelli and his amazing cellar.

 

Gagliopo is thought to date back to the Greeks...            

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Saporito, Francesco (Veronelli Collection) 1981 Calabria IGT Mantonico Bianco

A passito wine (made from partially dried grapes) - hence the dark color.

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