2019 Domenica Amato Fiano " Che Fico", Clarksburg, California, USA
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The 2019 growing season began with heavy rains in March and April, which allowed soils to store up plenty of water to weather the dramatic heat spikes we witnessed in June and mid-August. Other than those brief events, the vintage was relatively mild and we were able to take advantage of the extended growing season from this unique riverside site. By far our longest hanging white, the Fiano was picked on October 15th at exactly 20 degrees Brix and yielded grapes with lush texture and bright acids.
Established as an American Viticultural Area in 1985, Clarksburg is located along the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta, which pulls in ocean breezes and creates a cool maritime climate. Scribner Bend Vineyard is situated ideally on the inside of a 90-degree turn in the river, fostering constant airflow that slows ripening on the low-yielding Fiano vines. The low-draining Sycamore soil - a fine, silty clay loam - keeps the perfect harmony between vine health and stress in this dry region, and ultimately produces a complex and balanced wine.
The grapes were initially foot crushed and left to soak on skins and stems for a few hours before bring whole cluster pressed. Racked into clay amphora (80%) and stainless steel (20%), the wine began fermentation spontaneously with wild yeast a few days later. In these same vessels, the wine finished both primary and malolactic fermentation, and then aged on the lees for 5 months before being blended together, filtered, and bottled.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Centuries ago, Greek traders were masters of the Mediterranean, their wines famous from Cyprus to Spain. Wine of this era was fermented, aged, and transported in amphora – oblong clay vessels. As it turns out, these clay jars are perfect for wine fermentation. Long before we had fancy French oak barrels or stainless steel temp control fermenters, these were the ubiquitous vessels for fine wine across the Mediterranean.
Winemakers Palmer Emmitt and Michael Scorsone aim to recapture this resurgent, nearly-lost art with their “Che Fico” clay-amphora-fermented Fiano from a single vineyard in Clarksburg.
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