Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Mediterranean Heart of Calabria with Librandi

Earlier this month our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group (#ItalianFWT) featured the region of Calabria. Calabria is situated at the pointy tip of the boot. Reminds me of all the wonderful Italian leather shoes they have over there and those that I brought home with the pointy toe. It's closely situated to Sicily and is seperated by the Strait of Messina. Calabria is known as the enotria, land of wine, and was a name granted by the Greek settlers that first settled here. 

The winery I'm sharing with you today, Librandi, states on their site that they are “cuore mediterraneo”, mediterranean at the heart. Based on where they are situated and the wines they produce demonstrate their mediterranean heart and soul of what the mediterranean is all about. 

To stay true to the theme this month I wanted to share probably one of the most known red grapes from Calabria, gaglioppo. You may have never heard of it, but if you at least known that much you're off to a good start. Most likely if you are to look for red wines from Calabria you'll see Ciro wines from the Ciro area of Calabria and these are primarily based on the gaglioppo grape. 

gaglioppo grapes of Ciro in Calabria
Gaglioppo grapes by Fabio Ingrosso

The Librandi winery is one of the well-known wineries of this region in Calabria. The winery was initially founded by Nicodemo and Antonio and today is run by Nicodemo and his family. The Librandi winery partners with 42 associates within the Ciro DOC and sources their grapes only from this area. 

I had tried the 2009 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC. Wow that's a mouthful! The Duca San Felice wine is is named after the oldest vineyard owned by the Librandi family and it was the last vineyard planted by the father, Raffaele Librandi. It's located in the Ciro area of Calabria and is considered one of the cru sites named Ponta. 

I always value the wineries that experimenting with new grapes or restoring those ancient grapes of the past that face extinction. The Librandi family is doing just that working and experimenting with grapes such as mantonico bianco, magliocco, arvino and pecorello. I wrote about these grapes earlier this month, specifically magliocco and mantonico bianco. Personally, I had never heard of any these so it would be great if they could be reintroduced to the repertoire of wines that Calabria offers.

2009 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro RossoThe 2009 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC is made 100% from gaglioppo.and is aged 3 years in stainless steel with an additional few months in the bottle. is clear in color with garnet hues. A dry wine, medium bodied, smooth with moderate tannin. On the palate are notes of tea leaves, roses and some spice. This wine retails about $19. 

Have you tried this particular wine or the wines of Librandi, or better yet any of the wines from Calabria? 

Don't be shy to tell me your stories. I love to hear from my readers.

Source: Librandi Winery


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