Revelation: Terre di Balbia 2006 SerraMonte Rosso

Date: 12 December 2012
Wine: Terre di Balbia 2006 SerraMonte Rosso
Origin: Calabria, Italy

Revelation: Always hunting for new, southern Italian wines hailing from regions other than Campania, Abruzzo, Puglia and the islands, I bought Terre di Balbia’s 2006 SerraMonte Rosso because it’s fifty percent Magliocco. All I knew of this grape was that it usually plays a supporting, not a lead, role, and little is planted.

I want to know it better. This excellent wine, whose other half is Sangiovese, delivered complexity, length and an over-arching southern Italian-ness. How much of this was attributable to Magliocco rather than its “better half”, old vines, a fortuitous vintage, good winemaking or bottle age? I must keep tasting and find out.

Other than being irresistibly delicious, this bottling delivered what many warm climate wines try, but fail, to achieve. These wines can leave heavy, even leaden, palate imprints. Balance in a “revelation” wine is paramount; refreshing acidity is key. These wines often also suffer from elevated volatile acidity. When pronounced, “VA” smells like nail polish remover. Despite the generous 15% alcohol, which can encourage these problems, neither appeared.

From the first sip, this wine intrigued me. Hunting down more Magliocco now!