Iole Rabasco, a former lawyer who has been converted to viticulture and winemaking, makes the colours of her native Abruzzo shine brightly, magnifying the king grape varieties of the appellation, Montepulciano and Trebbiano...
|Bianco La Salita, Rosato Damigiana
Based in Pianella, Abruzzo, Iole Rabasco is halfway between the Adriatic Sea, some 40 kilometres away, and the Gran Sasso mountains bordering Iole's vineyards at their western edge. She says she finds this in her wines... on the one hand the salty freshness of the sea, on the other the mineral strength of the mountains.
From the beginning in the 2000s, she took over the family vineyards and olive trees, which had never been treated, and in 2006 she turned it all to biodynamic farming.
On the hills of Pianella, on average 450 metres above sea level, Iole grows the two king grape varieties of the region, Montepulciano, red, and Trebbiano, white. The oldest vines, some of which were planted in the 1970s, are planted on a "pergola" in order to protect the grapes from the hot summer sun, thus keeping the fruit fresh and maintaining fine, silky tannins.
Some of the younger vines are trellised in a more traditional way, giving richer grapes, with more expressive tannins, for more complex wines.
No synthetic treatments in the vineyards, as you can read on the hand-drawn labels, at the estate the rule is "Niente chemica, ne in vigna, ne in cantina", leaving its clay-limestone terroirs to express themselves.
The vinifications are also made with respect for the natural expression of the grape variety, with gentle presses, short macerations and little ageing. Iole also favours the use of dames-jeannes for its most precious vintages, the resulting wines are of a rare finesse, light and crisp, the touch is crystalline. The fruit is preserved, the tannins are soft, the wines are easy to drink and refreshing, pretty much between sea and mountain indeed...
In his La Salita vineyard, part of the Trebbiano vines are a genetic variation of the variety, the golden-skinned Trebbiano. The resulting wine takes on orange hues, even though no maceration takes place during vinification. The thick, rich, tannic skins simply colour the juice during pressing, giving the wine a deep, full and complex character.
A completely new facet of this grape variety, already rich in aromas, to discover...