Librandi Rosso Gravello 2011
Deep ruby-red in color, Gravello is intensely aromatic with notes of blackberry, ripe cherry, coffee, and cassis. On the palate, it is rich with velvety tannins and a persistent finish.
Pair this wine with grilled game, Mornay sauces, Chateaubriand, and duxelles-stuffed filet mignon.
Blend: 60% Gaglioppo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Librandi winery is a modern enterprise founded in 1950 by Antonio and Nicodemo Librandi. Nowadays, the winery is run by Nicodemo, his two sons Paolo and Raffaele, his nephew Francesco and his niece Teresa. To this day, they remain faithful to the principles that inspired their forefathers: a great wine requires love and dedication to the land and its history. Librandi is located in Cirò Marina, a small town in the southern Italian region of Calabria (Italy’s boot tip), on the splendid Ionian coastline. The soil in this area is naturally suited for grape growing, and the geographic position, located between the sea and the Sila Mountains, guarantees an excellent balance between day and nighttime temperatures. All Librandi wines and olive oils are made exclusively from estate-grown grapes and olives. The Librandi family owns a total of 890 acres, 573 of which are vineyards, 247 are olive groves, and the remainding acres are dedicated to the forest. The vineyards are planted with both local varietals (Gaglioppo, Magliocco and Mantonico) and international varietals. Librandi also runs an experimental vineyard with ancient local varietals.
As the toe of Italy’s boot and closer in proximity to Sicily than any other mainland Italian region, Calabria holds much much in common with the island by way of climate, landscape and agriculture. Calabria’s principal red grape, Gaglioppo, is also a close relative of Sicily’s famous Nerello Mascalese.
Cirò, Calabria’s most valuable appellation, covers gently sloped hills on the Ionian Sea coast. Its wines are based on the indigenous red, Gaglioppo, and can be made as single varietal wines or blended with Cabernet or Merlot. Also of interest from Calabria is the red Maglioppo, likely a relative of Sangiovese. Whites here are made of Greco.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.