Ampeleia "Unlitro" - Toscana 2020
The first thing to note with this wine is the enticing bottle shape - the Unlitro - far shorter than the typical bottle, yet holds 33% more. The intent is to convey a sense of conviviality; a wine to be shared.
Ampeleia is in the coastal Maremma region of Tuscany; it is one of the few areas in the neighborhood that does not have a long history of viticulture. The area was covered with inhospitable swampland until the 1930s when Mussolini ordered it to be drained. Its status as a relative newcomer to wine has afforded the producers the freedom to experiment with a wide range of grapes (just look the diversity in this blend alone), as there are no native grapes required to be used in the wine.
The estate is run by a young cadre of winemakers at the forefront of Italy's natural wine movement. They are dedicated to eschewing chemicals in the vineyard and in the winery. They are becoming known for their focus on Alicante, a grape with the unusual characteristic of having colored juice (in the vast majority of red grapes, the juice is clear).
For the Unlitro, they are using the produce of the youngest vines on their estate. Young vines are characterized by fruit-forward character; perfect for this style of wine. It is light-bodied and dry with enough fruit to fill a basket. It has an earthiness that compliments the fruit nicely (natural wines are all too often dominated by earth tones). It is a blend of five grapes: Alicante Nero, Carignano, Mourvèdre, Sangiovese, and Alicante Bouschet.
This is our most limited wine in the pre-arrival. Our supplier has one additional case available for us to supplement the handful of bottles we currently have on hand.
This wine was included in our June Wine Club. One of our members has already been back in the shop for more! It is best served with a light chill and among friends.