This is a fun, medium-bodied red from Chiara Penati and Michele Conoscente of Oltretorrente who work 7.5 hectares of vines around the town of Paderna in northern Italy's famous Piemonte.
Tasting Notes: This wine is for those in the mood for something a bit more classic. Deep, ruby red in color, with an herbaceous nose. Bright, juicy cherries on the palate with some lingering chewy tannins.
Vinification: 90% Barbera and 10% Dolcetto (co-planted throughout the vineyards are small amounts of Croatina, Freisa, Slarina, Brachetto, and Aleatico, which all make their way into this wine as well). Grapes are destemmed and pressed into concrete vats, where they ferment with native yeasts and hang with the skins for one month. Aging occurs in concrete and kept on the fine lees for 6 months. The wine was bottled with a light filtration and a touch of sulphur.
Winemakers Chiara Penati and Michele Conoscente are both agriculturalists who began their studies in Milan. After college, the two traveled around Italy and worked for several producers, learning conventional farming and vinification techniques and honing in on a more classic style of wine. In 2010, the couple decided to break out on their own, but wanted to integrate organic and biodynamic farming practices into the winery. The winery, called “Oltretorrente” (meaning, “Beyond the Stream” or “Countercurrent”) is comprised of 7.5 hectares, all of which is farmed without the use of pesticides or chemicals. The ages of the vines range from 15 to 100 years old and are situated on steep slopes at 300 meters above sea level. Vinification process varies vintage to vintage, but for the most part, the white wines are pressed and fermented on the lees in stainless steel or concrete, without skin contact. The reds are harvested late to achieve optimal ripeness, and then pressed and fermented in concrete or stainless steel with a long period of skin maceration and lees contact. Only native yeasts are used and just a touch of sulphur is added at bottling. Note: These beautiful, wild wines need a little time to breath upon opening, and a little aeration while drinking wouldn’t hurt either. A slight fizz or reduction in the bottle is normal.