I always like to try new wines, especially from regions that are less well represented in the United States. Calabria is one of those regions. I drank a wine from the Savuto in August of last year and wrote a post on it. I had forgotten about my post but discovered today that someone wrote in to say I should try wines from Colacino.
I finally got the chance to taste the wines at an event at Cipriani 42nd on February 20. I was blown away I confess. First of all, I had never heard of any of the grape varieties these wines contained. Second, I found the wines rich and elegant, persistence and exhilarating. I was really impressed. Some lucky importer is going to be very happy to snatch up these products.
Mauro Colacino was representing the winery which was founded in 1968 by his father Vittorio. The winery is located in a town called Marzi near Cosenza in Calabria. Calabria was called Enotria or wine land by the Greeks. Mauro runs the winery with his sister Maria Teresa. Mario Soldati, a famous writer, who wrote the definitive wine tome about traveling through Italy and finding true wines, Vino al Vino, apparently mentioned a wine made by Vittorio Colacino in his 1975 tract. “il vino va bevuto la dove nasce…”Nessuno e’ Savuto, Savuto e’ solo il Britto.” The Colacino family is rightly so proud of this visit and mention that the quote is prominently displayed on their website and winery materials.
Colacino brought four wines to the tasting including Amanzia Calabria IGT, Vigna Colle Barabba Savuto DOC and Britta Savuto Superiore DOC. The vineyards are at 450-500 meters above sea level.
Amanzia is a red wine made from Magliocco Canino. This indigenous grape grows only in Calabria. The wine was ruby red in color, with a refined, peppery, spice, and dried fruit bouquet. On the palate, it was concentrated and rich with similar flavors to those showcased on the nose.
Vigna Colle Barabba Savuto DOC is unoaked made from a blend of Arvino, Greco Nero, Magliocco Canino, and Nerello Cappuccio. This deep ruby red wine is intense and persistent on the nose with red fruit and rose notes. On the palate, it was complex, elegant, with spice and liquorice flavors, ripe tannins and a long finish.
Britta which means terre bruciate (burned earth) Savuto Superiore DOC is made from Arvino, Greco Nero, Magliocco Canino and Nerello Cappuccino. Britto spends time in both French and American oak and in stainless steel but is not filtered and therefore has quite an interesting rich texture. This wine is a deep ruby red, with rich red fruit notes, smoke, spice, tobacco and chocolate on the nose. On the palate, it is complex, well integrated and velvety with ripe, fine tannins and a long finish. The wine is very persistent and continues to show waves of aromas and flavors.
Mauro Colacino noted that the wine is able to achieve such richness because of the terroir, microclimate and the varieties themselves. The winery is located near a river and the changes in temperature from day to night are very pronounced. This kind of change in daily temperatures produces grapes rich in phenolics. This was truly a memorable experience.