Tasting notes: This wine is a bit of a contradiction – a little fresh and bright pop of purple fruit set against a wall of earth, tobacco, and black pepper skin - definite bit of knuckle-dragging texture. Not for those who are looking for smooth + juicy. This is old-school rustic and looking to pair with grilled or braised meats and mushrooms, cumin spice tacos, or lamb ragu. Though it is sulfite-free it is also clean and on point.
Context: 2018 was a crazy vintage in Lake County, and Il Fuoco is a wine trying to capture that, the frustrating sense of the 2018 vintage, and a sense of powerless awe as fire wrapped 180 degrees around the vineyard and Clear Lake and those sleepless nights. Fortunately it happened too early in the season to create wine problems. It made sense to not add any constraining sulfites and suffer their normalizing effects here.
Winemaking: These are the press fractions from our Sangiovese, Primitivo, and Dolcetto. Press wine is higher in tannin and lower in acid. As the skins are pressed, deeper more visceral elements come out. In this case without the lighter, fresher fruit of the free-run juice and going straight to the deep stuff.
Vintage: Ah 2018. It started off fast and furious. We avoided the drenching rain of 2017 and as summer came it got hotter and hotter. 3 weeks of 100-degree days, and just as the vines started to look tired, then came magical cooling for months, slow-ripening 82-degree perfection.
Label Image: Johann Mylius was a composer, physician and ardent alchemist. His Philosophia Reformata was a deep dive into what he considered scientific principles. “Here are the components of the secret fire: the fiery water and the watery fire which, excited by the ordinary elemental fire, cause the birds to fly.” Secret fire is the fourth form of fire, external to objects, and part of the alchemist’s spirit.
Sangiovese, Primitivo, Dolcetto
All fermented separately, then blended at bottling in equal ratios
3 neutral 225l barrels used for aging, mostly 6-12 year old thin stave French and Hungarian oak
70 cases produced
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