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 Vino Rosso 2023
Translucent red like Mediterranean sun streaming through a Burma ruby. Gossamer scents of wild fennel, rose and violets with warm rock and stone. Red fruits, orange oil, amaro and dried green herbs fill the palate as its glances by with silken length. Wonderful slightly chilled.
Crafted from a gentle press on the previously unpressed fruit from old organic seaside Calabrian vineyards that make up Sergio’s range. Each year Sergio makes his top Gaglioppo reds and roses from the free run juice of destemmed grapes. He then performs a very gentle press of these amazing grapes and wild ferments the juice before storing in Steel. After doing so in 2021 & 2022 there was enough to bottle (and no more space in his tiny Ciro Marina winery) and we claimed it all for ourselves (and you). There is even a little bit of juice from the Greco di Ciro white so that this really does represent the only wine that encompasses all of Sergios’ land. A medley of his greatest hits one could say.
The label is a scan of the masking tape & marker pen tag attached to the bottles Sergio sent us to taste. His nephew had written ‘Vino Rosso’ and with pride in his vines he added the “Top!” & the smiley face … we thought that was all that needed said.