2012 Il Cerchio Dolce A Ansonica Passito IGT () 2012 500ml

Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

Finally, there is a tiny amount of this delicious, 100% Ansonica passito made each year. ‘Passito’ is the Italian term for ‘dried’ and refers to a wine made from grapes that have been dried after harvest. This concentrates the sugars, acidity and indeed all elements of the grape, apart from water of course, giving richness, power and intensity to the finished wines. Traditionally, the grapes were either spread out on mats in the sun, dried under cover on bamboo racks or hung up in bunches under the rafters. Il Cerchio use the first method before a soft pressing into stainless tanks starts the long, slow fermentation. The balance here is wonderful. It isn’t a blockbuster but rather an elegant, racy wine with just enough sweetness. There are wonderfully seductive aromas and flavours of honeyed walnuts, dried fruit and orange blossoms and the wine flows effortlessly across the palate. Only moderately sweet, there is no danger of palate fatigue here. The residual is cut through with lots of salty-mineral tang and nervy freshness, so while it is luscious enough to match with fruit based desserts (tarte tatin anyone?), it is an even better accompaniment to mature cheeses.

Winemakers Note

“Il Cerchio is an organic, family-run farm. Our 9 hectares are divided between a vineyard, an olive grove, a small reforestation area, and a little arable land given over in part to pasture for the now old but happy horse – the only one we have left. The choice of organic methods of production was made from the very birth of the enterprise in 1988, in the conviction that respect for the environment and for the health of consumer and producer are fundamental concepts on which to build and to give a future not only to agriculture but to the entire ecosystem. The fertilisers used are completely organic and, depending on agronomic needs, substituted by green manure. The vine protection treatments are mostly carried out using copper and sulphur, pest control is entirely mechanical. The vineyard, currently about 3 hectares, planted between 2000 and 2005, has a slight exposure to the south-west and east/west oriented rows. It includes the Ansonica, Vermentino, Sangiovese and Alicante varieties, with a low density of plantation and single-guyot vine training with 6-8 buds. The subsequent early selection of clusters allows us to limit the production of grapes per cane and so to obtain a higher concentration and quality. A new vineyard of 2 hectares, planted in 2014/2015 winter time,contains  Sangiovese and Alicante , and plus Ciliegiolo and Pugnitello. The grape harvest is carried out manually, only when optimum maturity is reached. The grapes are collected in small boxes and immediately moved to the winery to eliminate possible damage to clusters. The vinification is traditional, with a long maceration for the red, while the white is produced at a controlled temperature.”