Cantina Madonna delle Grazie

Cantina Madonna della Grazie Giuseppe Latorraca
Cantina Madonna della Grazie Giuseppe Latorraca Growing Season Liscone Vineyard

The Story

With great excitement we present a dazzling new producer, a huge addition to our growing Italian portfolio. The Latoracca family team of three (two sons, Paolo and Michele, both with enology degrees and father, Giuseppe, who spends all day in the vineyards) has come out swinging since bottling their first wines in 2003.

The combination of two idealistic millennial enologists (Michele has a second degree in Agronomy as well, which he teaches in school) coupled with their father’s deep vineyard wisdom creates the launching pad for truly astonishing juice. These wines convey clarity, craftsmanship, authenticity, and energy unheard of at such reasonable cost.  It’s as if they discovered some secret the rest of the world hasn’t learned yet. If you like reds with a tight grain, lithe body, and high-toned aromas, these are for you.

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The Latoraccas release all of their reds later than most producers, even their least expensive. Releasing the wine too early, they believe, does great disservice to Aglianico, and they’re willing to hold their wines until the proper moment for release, no matter when that may be. Each cuvée has its own unique protocol, but overall throughout the elevage, the family applies sensible techniques to keep the wines fresh. It works: the wines glisten like polished stones upon release.

 

Lay of the Land

Basilicata is the Mali of Italy, and Venosa, where the Latoraccas are located, is its Timbuktu. You could say it’s the ankle and mid-arch of the boot, and mostly landlocked, but for two access points to the Mediterranean, one to the east and one to the west. It’s sparsely populated and the arid landscape is marked devilishly by the infamous extinct volcano, Monte Vulture, which clearly put on a world-class show before it pushed out its last bit of steam.

The new DOCG (since 2010, upgraded from the DOC established in 1971) Aglianco del Vulture is home to a pretty complex arrangement of soils. Of course, Monte Vulture plays a role, but through years of eruptions and floods a layer cake of limestone and volcanic deposits formed, easily observed by cutting into the bedrock. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. Veins of clay, conglomerates and sandstones appear as well, all contributing something unique to the wine made from the rustic, noble, reigning red grape of Italy’s south, Aglianico.

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Once a mighty beast, roaring with fire and spewing molten rock, Monte Vulture is deceased, gasping its last breath about 800,000 years ago. It finally blew its lid (literally), emptied its magma chamber (caldera) and eventually collapsed downward into its former magma cooking pot. It’s quiet now and this once great ruler of the land gave its all to this beautiful, tortured vineyard landscape.

Cantina Madonna delle Grazie - 2017 Leuconoe

Price: $19.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

9 in stock

Type of Wine: White
Style: Mineral, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

You simply won’t believe it until you drink it. This whole-cluster pressed Aglianico white (yes, that deeply hued red grape with tons of tannin and acidity) is as unusual as it is special.

Red grapes generally rely on their skins for a wine’s complexity, color, and flavor. Not every red grape can make good rosé, let alone good white wine. Yet, even the greatest of red varieties would have a tremendous challenge in matching the complexity of this white, offering shocking evidence of how much talent Aglianico harbors within its skins. I have never tasted a blanc de noir still wine with so many layers of complexity, from the highest-toned stinging acidity, to a back palate of nectar from the season’s first stone fruits. Honey and spice are joined by a gentle hint of the beguiling smoke aroma typical in Italian wines from volcanic soils. A sublime gem of an experiment!

Located 500 meters above sea level, this whole-cluster pressed Aglianico (just confirming it for you a second time…) is fermented with natural yeasts at somewhat low temperatures (15-18 degrees Celsius). There is no malolactic fermentation or time in oak, just the purest fruit juice fermented into wine. If you like surprises, get ready to be blown away.

About The Wine

You simply won’t believe it until you drink it. This whole-cluster pressed Aglianico white (yes, that deeply hued red grape with tons of tannin and acidity) is as unusual as it is special.

Red grapes generally rely on their skins for a wine’s complexity, color, and flavor. Not every red grape can make good rosé, let alone good white wine. Yet, even the greatest of red varieties would have a tremendous challenge in matching the complexity of this white, offering shocking evidence of how much talent Aglianico harbors within its skins. I have never tasted a blanc de noir still wine with so many layers of complexity, from the highest-toned stinging acidity, to a back palate of nectar from the season’s first stone fruits. Honey and spice are joined by a gentle hint of the beguiling smoke aroma typical in Italian wines from volcanic soils. A sublime gem of an experiment!

Located 500 meters above sea level, this whole-cluster pressed Aglianico (just confirming it for you a second time…) is fermented with natural yeasts at somewhat low temperatures (15-18 degrees Celsius). There is no malolactic fermentation or time in oak, just the purest fruit juice fermented into wine. If you like surprises, get ready to be blown away.