Fattoria La Vialla "Occhio di Pernice" Vin Santo 2013 500ML
The Italian "Holy Wine"..."Wine of Saints"...whatever you call it, this is one of the finest representations of the classic late-harvest dessert wine anywhere.
Pull the cork to discover a complex bouquet of raspberry, candied apricot, dried blood orange, warm baking spices, balsamic, smoked honey, and potpourri. Its time in bottle has lent it a rarified, layered texture that evolves over hours. A true vino da meditazione, enjoy this at cellar temp or just above – not too cool – to allow the flavors to truly unfold.
Vin Santo is a passito style of dessert wine, whereby the grapes are dried on straw mats until raisinated. The resulting grapes are intensely concentrated, giving up minute amounts of honeyed nectar. "Occhio de Pernice" means "the eye of the partridge," referencing both the color of the wine and the iris of a partridge (it's quite amazing, look it up). It's a rare style of Vin Santo, made from the indigenous grapes Sangiovese and Malvasia. Sangiovese lends it an earthy, candied red fruit characteristic; and from Malvasia a honeyed, tropical, perfumed profile. Put them together and you have a magical alchemy of Tuscan grapes.
La Vialla is an significant place; a biodynamically-farmed estate in Arezzo, Tuscany, among the hills of Chianti; at 3,500 acres it's the largest biodynamic farm in all of Europe. From citrus and olive groves, massive vegetable gardens, grapevines, and pastures of livestock, it's truly a closed, self-sustaining system of polyculture. They produce olive oil, a farmers market's worth of produce, their own cheese, vinegars, condiments, and this amazing dessert wine made from Sangiovese and Malvasia grapes.
In the 1970s in Arezzo, this corner of Tuscany was impoverished and still recovering from its "Years of Lead," a period of social turmoil lasting until the late 1980s. Arezzo was filled with dilapidated farmhouses and abandoned farmland. In 1978 Giuliana and Piero Lo Franco bought an abandoned farmhouse and started growing vegetables and grapes at their "Ca' dell'Oro" which would eventually take on the name Fattoria La Vialla. At this time, "organic" was not a discussed or even named practice; nevertheless they farmed the old-school way, eschewing any chemicals or unnatural products, continuing today with their ineffably unique organic, solar-powered holistic farm. La Vialla is recognized in Europe as a leader in biodynamics and one of the most significant estates in the E.U.
This dessert wine is the perfect end to a meal or for evening introspective sipping. And it will continue to age! Tuck some away in your cellar and watch it evolve for another five years with grace.
As with any delicate or older cork, we recommend the Durand for the perfect removal, every time.