Librandi: Calabria’s unique contributions, Gaglioppo and more

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

My column this week springs from personal history and passion. It was Librandi’s 2006 Ciro Rosato that first taught me to love pink wine. It was easy, since the wine is actually close to a red. In fact, Paolo Librandi told me that for much of the 2,600 years (not a typo) wine has been made in Calabria, all “red” wine was rosato: it’s just too damn hot down there, without temperature-controlled maceration and fermentation, to let crushed grapes hang around their skins long enough to get truly red. So, drink a rosato and you’re drinking serious history!

Actually, 2006 was around when I started to want to learn anything at all about wine generally, and that’s in part due to the education I got from that Rosato. So, thanks Librandi! Today’s column includes an interview with Paolo Librandi, fourth-generation of his family’s winemakers. Paolo manages the vineyards and along with his brother runs the business.

They make fascinating reds as well, using Calabria’s indigenous Gaglioppo grape. The combination of earth and floral grace is unique, though calls to mind great Pinot Noir and even Nebbiolo. Delicate flowers, they. And don’t forget the Critone, a majority Chardonnay with surprising opulence (no oak). Splendid wines, most for under $15.

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