Caravaglio "Nero du Munti" Rosso 2019
Corinto Nero｜Salina, Italy
Fantastic natural Italian red from the windswept island paradise of Lipari, part of the Aeolian island chain off the coast of Sicily.
Called the Isole Eolia after Aeolius, the Greek god of wind, the Aeolian islands are part of an archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, accessible via hydrofoil or a three-hour ferry ride from the north coast of Sicily. Literally millennia of history have unfolded in this part of the Mediterranean; successive waves of civilizations have sieged, colonized, or settled here. Greeks, Normans, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Vandals, Moors, Franks, Gauls, Romans, Byzantines; they all have indelibly influenced the region.
This wine comes from perhaps one of the least-seen grapes in the Mediterranean: Corinto Nero. The name is said to come from Corinth, the city in Greece where it originates and is also the etymology for “currant,” the small red berries we know today.
Their vines of Corinto Nero are ungrafted, pre-phylloxera specimens – this may sound insignificant but in the world of wine this is as rare a find as it gets. The vines miraculously survived the worldwide onslaught of phylloxera (that notorious invasive aphid that destroys grapevines) through a combination of the volcanic ash-and-pumice soils and Lipari’s remote island location. Some 80% of the vines here are over 150 years old, some of the oldest and rarest in the world!
In Signore Caravaglio’s capable hands the Corinto Nero vines produce a wine suffused with hibiscus, snappy red cherry, cola, red pepper, sandalwood musk, sweet red flowers, cassis, raspberry liqueur, and a perfectly suave finish. Not only is this one of the only Corinto Nero wines you’ll find, it’s the apogee of pure, minimalist winemaking and the perfect expression of an “island red.”
The Caravaglio family, in Salina, descends from a lineage on the island going back 500 years, when five noble families settled on Lipari to cultivate the land in the 16th century. Today, Antonio Caravaglio still farms his organic family vineyards in the crater of a dormant volcano. The volcanic ash soils, combined with the salty windswept breezes impart an unmistakable sense of place.