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Mariotti Fortana dell'Emilia "Set e Mez"

The harvest is strictly carried out by hand and it normally takes place during the first days of October. Grapes are destemmed and pressed and then left to macerate on the skins for about 24-36 hours. The spontaneous fermentation lasts about two weeks and then the wine is kept in cement tanks for 60 days. The secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, without racking off the lees. Bottle aging for 6 months. 100% Fortana. The part of Romagna where Mariotti is from is a laid back beach area, where locals eat grilled flat-bread sandwiches called piadina romagnola, and slosh back the frothy frizzante. In fact, Mariotti's wines are named after local card games! Instead of charmat, he produces old-school bottle fermented (rifermentato in bottiglia) wines from the native grapes Trebbiano Romagnolo, and a rare red called Fortana ? a savoury wild thing with high acid and a black cherry or wild strawberry note, depending on vintage; it also has a bitter vermouth-like spice to it. His vines are in Fortana's grand cru growing area of Bosco Eliceo, just 300 meters from the Adriatic sea. Since the vines are grown in sand (Beach Vines! Beach Wines!), they are non-grafted and on their own native rootstock (It. Piede franco). Interestingly, he uses the process of propaggine, a type of selezione massale, for new vines. Many vines are over 100 years old, with roots two meters to the aquifer below. They are gnarly. And, by growing vines so close to the beach, that savory, even salty mouthfeel really comes through. Mariotti is an excellent example of a producer who is making more interesting wines than a generation ago, that are less rustic but aren't tying to follow the model of fine wines. Kick off your sandals, light up the grill, and deal the cards. This is farmer-fizz from local varieties that's unique, delicious, and without pretense.