Firriato - Camelot Magnum 2005
To 12 months
With the revival of Sicilian wines, Firriato began implementing a project during the nineties designed to safeguard and restore the island's varied land. The first estates in the countryside of Trapani were added to over time by the acquisition of Cavanera on Etna and Calamoni on the island of Favignana. Piece by piece, the Di Gaetano family has built up a mosaic of inestimable value for the entire Sicilian wine making industry and now offers a complete overview of the extent of the Sicilian terroir through its wines. Firriato's philosophy is based on great respect for the land in which it operates, because wines of excellent quality, capable of filling the glass with the distinctive sensory characteristics that reflect the terroir of origin, can only be obtained by gaining a thorough knowledge of every single section of the vineyard.
Firriato's estates encompass a complete map of the various types of terroir found in Sicily and are composed as follows: the estates in the countryside of Trapani, hectares of land stretching as far as the eye can see, nestled in the hills of a Sicilian countryside marked by an age-old tradition in agriculture, where the cultivation of vines has accompanied and marked the lives of its inhabitants since time immemorial; the Cavanera estate on Etna, a unique and singular terroir, where man has always practiced a heroic form of mountain viticulture, respecting the majestic force of the volcano that is its host; and finally the Calamoni estate on the island of Favignana, where a heroic form of coastal viticulture is practiced, battling against impracticable weather conditions caused by the close influence of the sea. Firriato's latest acquisitions, the estates on Etna and Favignana, are the perfect reflection of a Sicilia that is, geographically speaking, poles apart. They practice two completely different viticultures, coastal and mountain, but they possess the strength to coexist and develop within that production philosophy of oenological excellence and valorisation of the land that Firriato has always striven for and desired. The wines produced on Etna and Favignana are rare pearls that Firriato is collecting in line with a wine-producing strategy focused on the observation and development of frontier territories for niche market, top-quality wines.
The Terroir Hills
The plan to valorise the biodiversity represented by the historic vines and habitats in which they grow in the Sicilian countryside began in the hillside vineyards located along the west coast of Sicily. Vines are grown using natural methods and managed to ensure the plants are not overloaded with fruit, resulting in a yield per vine that promotes better fruit quality. This decision to respect the territory, this ability to take only real grapes from the land, those that every single vine produces without undue effort in search of an unstable balance, is fully reflected in the properties of the wines produced on the four estates located in the countryside of Trapani. Baglio Sorìa, Borgo Guarini, Dagala Borromeo and Pianoro Cuddìa. This consistency derives from the agronomic decisions made by Firriato in relation to its vineyards, a production environment with a mix of various different exposures and soils. The wind is a constant presence and the difference in temperature between night and day, especially during the period in which the fruit is growing and ripening, plays a fundamental role in polyphenolic ripening. Meticulous cultivation practices are adopted that take this complexity into account. Due to both solar radiation and the presence of wind, the plants retain much of their leaf coverage, keeping the bunches of grapes at a lower temperature compared to that found on the surface of the leaves directly exposed to the sun. Firriato's production philosophy does not permit the use of weed killer on these lands, which have never been treated with chemical fertilizers. During the winter, the vineyards become natural pastures for the herds that feed on wild herbs growing on the land. The land is worked using traditional methods such as breaking up the soil at the end of winter and beginning of spring, grassing and then cutting of the wild herbs, followed by green manuring at the start of the summer. Firriato grows some of the finest international grape varieties on its estates alongside the autochthonous varieties. Autochthonous and international varieties grow side-by-side in a single agricultural context and fully express the company's philosophy of valorising the unique qualities that every single vine is capable of expressing in its land of origin.
The Terroir Mountains
Etna challenged Firriato to engage with mountain viticulture, to understand its unique qualities and discover the value of those qualities in relation to wine and its production, whilst keeping intact the philosophy and style of a brand that now has the strength and reputation to represent Sicily as a producer of high-quality wines throughout the world. The Cavanera estate is located in the area of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north-eastern side of the volcano, in an agricultural context where the vines have adapted naturally to soil and climate conditions that are singular and unique at these latitudes. The vineyard is traditionally planted: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante varieties, the reigning princes of the volcano. These specimens are of significant importance because, thanks to the sandy composition of the soil, they managed to survive the Phylloxera epidemic that in the early 20th century attacked and destroyed most of the vines in Italy. The black lava soil, the wood that extends up to the branches of the vines and the series of dry stone walls are all elements of this timeless mosaic. For Firriato, Cavanera is the emblem of a production project of inestimable value that few wine producers in Sicily can claim to hold.
The Terroir Sea
The Calamoni estate is located on the central-southern side of the island, close to the sea, on the narrowest part of the strip of land dominated by the tall promontory. The sea plays a fundamental role in shaping the sensory characteristics of the grapes and therefore the wine that they produce, adding a collection of saline and mineral components worthy of merit. As with Etna, small, niche productions are made on Favignana, where the land and selection of grape varieties planted in the vineyards fully embody the guiding concept of terroir. Another part of the puzzle with regard to stylistic accuracy, production reputation and image in a wide-ranging plan with which Firriato intends to enhance the richness and complexity of the land and become the custodian of an ampelographic heritage unrivalled in Sicily. The vineyards on the Favignana estate, the jewel of the company, cover five hectares of land just 20 metres from the cliffs of Calamoni and are planted with bush-trained vines on sandstone based soil, between outcrops of tuff stone rocks and red sand, an element that adds exceptional minerality to the wines. The constant flow of air acts as an important natural deterrent to parasites, keeping the climate dry and mild all year round. The vicinity to the sea combined with natural fertilization from Neptune Grass (a sea algae rich in potassium, which the south winds pick up during stormy weather and spread throughout the vineyard) add unique aromatics to the wines of Favignana. We are faced with true heroic coastal viticulture, practiced in a production environment that is incredible thanks to the nature of its landscape, but also difficult and ambitious, characterised by singular and extreme soil and climate conditions.
|Ageing and Fining||French barriques for 9 months|
|Ageing||To 12 months|
|Color||Deep ruby red.|
|Aroma||Elegant scents of raspberries, blueberries and wild strawberries combined with delicate notes of cinnamon, cherries and eucalyptus give the bouquet body and a complexity of aromas. It delights the nose with enchanting grassy notes interwoven with scents of cocoa and mint.|
|Aroma||balsamic, Vegetal, Floral, Fruity, Spicy|
|Taste||Soft and seductive on entry, it overwhelms the palate with its juicy and opulent fruitiness. The refined tannins bring a fresh flavour and rich memories to the palate.|
|Serving temperature||16°-18° C.|
|Blend description||Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 40%|
|Matching||Starters, Ham , Pasta, Rice with mushrooms|
|Ideal with||Earthfood Starters, Pasta With Vegetables, Pasta Meat|