I've said it a few times before and I'll say it again - when you walk into a wine shop sometimes the wine chooses you. Yesterday I paid a visit to my local bottle shop and while I was looking for a specific producer (which I found and bought 3 bottles of and I can't wait to tell you all about), this cute bottle of Calcarius Hellen Rosso by the one and only Valentina Passalacqua decided to come home with me. Because I don't think I could ever have enough of Progetto Calcarius' wines and also I was secretly looking for a gluggable red to enjoy in these colder-than-average summer days (London weather).
Calcarius Hellen Rosso 2019 by Valentina Passalacqua, Puglia, Italy. A biodynamic red wine made with 100% Nero di Troia, which is an indigenous variety of Puglia (Apulia). This wine is part of Progetto Calcarius, a project that celebrates wine as the product of art and science. All wines labelled as Calcarius come from vines that grow on white calcareous soils and are exposed to the hot Southern-Italian sunshine. As a result, the Calcarius wines have a strong character, are very mineral and present a refreshing acidity. Hellen Rosso is part of the "Cru" collection of the Calcarius family, with geographic appellation Rosso Puglia IGT.
The vinification process is straightforward and sees very little human intervention - spontaneous fermentation in steel tanks, 2 days skin contact, unfiltered, no temperature control and 6 months maturation in steel tanks.
I think this is one of those reds that you can chill in the fridge before opening, if you want to. It's got that smashable fruitiness that will totally survive a trip to the fridge and will come out stronger than ever. I didn't really chill mine before opening, but I did stick the bottle in the fridge after pouring the first drop and I look forward to trying it lightly chilled later.
As soon as I poured the wine in the glass, I realised it was trying to tell me something but needed a bit of air, some space. Like us human do after all! So I allowed for some time to pass and after a few swirls I could finally get so much fresh fruitiness, like ripe, juicy black cherries. I also got a bit of spice and a certain earthiness from soil. One the palate it's all I found on the nose and more. Have you ever picked a ripe black cherry from the tree and savoured it? It's the same. You even get the texture of it somehow, skin and pulp. There is also a huge amount of mineral and the acidity is simply pleasant and not at all tart. Tannin is relatively light but present and provides a good amount of texture. A whole tasting experience in a bottle, incredibly good value too.
Until next wine! Wink Wink.