2019 Dote Nouveau Syrah

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Lots of people buy wine based on the label, and if you do so with these, no one can blame you. The Do.t.e. Wines are made by Filipo Calabresi, a young man seeking alternative answers to contemporary viticulture. Based in Tuscany, a region often noted for its more commercial, mass produced wines from larger D.O.C.'s and G’s, Calabresi’s small plot in Cortona works with small, careful production and gentle farming practices.

In an effort to avoid status or certification he makes charming, expressional wines that not only offer a new, modern face to Tuscan viticulture, but become respectable in their own progressive right.

The Nouveau takes Syrah and Viognier, a typical Côte-Rôtie blend, from a 2ha terraced vineyard planted in 2002. The grapes grow in clay in relatively low density, allowing for much mineral absorption and good water flow. When harvested, they ferment spontaneously with their own yeast in stainless steel or concrete tanks. This is aged in terracotta for six months. The resulting wine is savoury and spicy, full of stewed blackberries, hibiscus flowers, caraway and fenugreek. Finishes juicy and abruptly, making you beg for a second glass.