Castel San Mauro – Collio, Friuli
Castel san Mauro is located on the Italian north-eastern hills embracing Gorizia, known as Collio. It extends over an area of 25 hectares of which 6.5 are with vines. The south-facing land, among the woods of Mount Sabotino and the meadows that slope down towards the Isonzo River, its type consisting of marl and sandstone (Ponca) are the conditions that favour the cultivation of the vine since ancient times. From the mid Twentieth Century the farm belongs to the family of the current owner, Manuele Mauri. In 1958, Manuele’s Grandfather Gilberto began renovating the old villa and the old vineyards. Since taking over, Manuele has moved to organic and biodynamic farming practises, all to limit intervention. The 60 year old vines also provide the stock for the selection of new plants. Using raw material from nearby Aurisina on the coast Manuele has developed the world’s first marble tank fermentation system. Marble is hygienic, breathable, inert and imperceptible with respect to the liquid contained in it, it protects the vinification and ripening of wine from bacterial contamination, intrusion of wood components and roasting of stalks. The tank walls are modular allowing each container volume to be altered in respect of its contents and dismantled for cleaning and moving.
The Ribolla Gialla Col Fondo is composed of 80% massal selection Ribolla Gialla and 20% early picked Chardonnay from a 40 year old vineyard. Primary fermentation with wild yeasts is in old oak for the Chardonnay and in marble for the Ribolla. Unfiltered and bottled for re-fermentation, again with wild yeasts and only natural grape sugars added. After at least 9 months the wine is sold without disgorgement and any additions – sugar is under 0.5g/l – on its lees. The Cha’Ar is a blend of 85% Chardonnay & 15% Ribolla Gialla from 40 year old vines. After a delicately light joint-pressing and cold decanting off the lees (at 12 degrees) the wine co-ferments with wild yeasts in 70% marble and 30% 300l used barrels before aging for 9 months. Bottled with no additions, fining or filtration. The Winorang shows aromas of sunsoaked strawberry leaf and nectarine eau-de-vie. The palate is redolent of honeycomb, waxy and bittersweet with essential oils of orange and bergamot drifting by with melon crush and crab apple. Like nothing you’ve ever drunk before we’ll wager. Layer upon layer of ever-evolving tones and nuances that are impossible to pin down. The Atavo is 100% Merlot from Ponca clay schist soils. After crushing in conical oak vats the fruit is fermented on wild yeast in marble tanks. After 15 days of fermentative maceration the wines ages in marble for 12 months and is bottled with ultra low sulphur. Black raspberry, beetroot and plummy fruit are all held in tension by a fine grained mineral acidity