Sergio is fourth generation grower based in Reggio Calabria’s renowned Ciró denomination. The reds here are based on the indigenous Gaglioppo grape - one of Italy’s oldest noble varieties, rumoured to have been the basis for the Krimisa wine given to winners of the ancient Olympic Games and also written about in the 13th century. In its best, reputation-eschewing examples Gaglioppo exudes aromas of small red berries and citrus zest, with mineral and delicate underbrush notes that are not unlike a lighter, more saline Nebbiolo. From two vineyards near the Ionian coast of Calabria Sergio is one of a growing band of Ciró producers making exquisitely fine red wines from Calabria’s star black grape. Now bottling his fruit rather than selling it off as his ancestors did, with 2009 being the first vintage, Sergio is a master at teasing out power and vivacity. The family’s 3.7ha lie in the heart of the Ciró region at 105m on Calabria’s south-eastern edge overlooking the Gulf of Taranto & Puglia beyond. Sergio is fortunate to have old vines planted in 1948 using the original ‘alberello’ trellising system, along with more recent ‘cordone speronato’ planted in the 1980s. He works in an environmentally friendly way, yields being a modest 42 hl/ha with minimal use of Copper & Sulphur and a focus on winter weeding only. Fermentation takes place in what looks like a large, open cement bath tub, allowing him to keep the cap submerged, for soft extraction over 4 to 5 days only before removing the skins (to avoid bitter tannins from the pips) and completing the fermentation.
Sergio Arcuri Ciro Classico Superiore ‘Aris’ 2016
Deep black cherry, blackberry and wild strawberry tones. vibrant and refined crackling tannins and warm earth, wild herb and coffee aromas.100% Ciro DOC Gaglioppo mostly from Piane Di Franze, a bush vine vineyard planted in 1980 on clay, silt and red sand with a small portion from the coastal Piciara vineyard. After fermentation in an open concrete tub with skins and seeds removed after 5 days (rack and return) before finishing fermenting to only extract the best fruit and tannin and none of the astringency that the variety can display. Aged for 2 years in concrete and 6 months in bottle before release.