Mandrarossa Fiano Ciaca Bianca 2018  £12.95

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First produced in 1999, the Mandrarossa wines come from a selection of the best sites from Cantine Settesoli’s 6,000 hectares of vineyard, situated in southwestern Sicily and planted with 32 different grape varieties. This range was conceived after the diverse soils of the vineyards were mapped, enabling the winemakers to focus on what was then ranked their best sites. Under the leadership of co-operative president Giuseppe Bursi, consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini has sought to improve viticulture, which in turn has resulted in better wines. Working with soil specialist Pedro Parra and head winemaker Mimmo De Gregorio, Alberto has selected 500 hectares of the vineyard for the production of the Mandrarossa wines. These vineyards are situated close to the sea, where intense sunlight, moderating sea breezes, mild temperatures, multiple elevations and a myriad of different soil types combine to give the sort of grapes that Mimmo and Alberto are looking for.

The vineyards are located on the hills facing south and south-east, at 150 - 350 metres above sea level, on limestone and medium-textured soils. Vines are Guyot trained, with a density of 4,000-4,500 plants per hectare.

The 2018 vintage started with rainy and mild autumn and winter. Springtime saw rainfalls above average for the Menfi area. Summer was mild with lower-than-average temperature. These conditions allowed for a longer vegetative growth period for the vines and resulted in more mature fruit. The alcoholic levels in the final wines are 1% lower than average, and the wines are fresher and more aromatic.

The grapes were hand-harvested in mid-August. After being crushed and destemmed, they were immediately cooled to 5-8°C and maintained at these temperatures for 4-6 hours. They were softly pressed and the juice obtained was clarified for 36 hours at a low temperature. The clear must was fermented for 15-20 days in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks at 16-18 ° C. The wine was kept for three months in stainless steel tanks at 16-18°C before bottling. The wine was released after three months of bottle ageing.

This wine is straw yellow in colour with green hues. On the nose, it has fresh and fragrant aromas of jasmine, basil and grapefruit, tomato leaf and laurel. The palate is fresh and mineral, with hints of aromatic herbs such as oregano and mint, and excellent length.

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