• Unico: a gamay different from the others

    Originally from Burgundy, Gamay is a genetic cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais B. (a vine now in disuse).

    The first sources that mention Gamay date back to the late Middle Ages, and at that time it was the most common grape variety in Burgundy. In 1395 the Duke of Burgundy “Philip the Bold” forbade the cultivation of Gamay to favor the production of Pinot Noir, then considered more noble and suitable for the production of high quality wines.

    The initial idea of my father (1997), having the desire and possibility to plant two new hectares of vineyards, was to use only Malbec vine but by contacting his favorite grapewine grower (Pépinières Guillaume) he was urged by the same to plant Gamay in one of the two hectares, because according to him our microclimatic position would have allowed us to obtain fantastic results with this vine. My father, always eager to face the most difficult challenges, was totally taken and decided to follow the advice of Pierre Marie, planting a hectare of Gamay.

    The name of our Gamay “Unico” (we do not want to be presumptuous) is appropriate because in the majority of the places where it is vinified it is preferred to obtain wines based on freshness and not on the structure and consequently it is not aged in oak barrels, while we want to obtain (and we do) with this great vine, a wine that has nothing to envy to the most well-known and noble vines of Bordeaux and Burgundy.

    The predominant scents are black pepper, blackberry, black cherry, tobacco and dark chocolate, there is a complex but not intrusive structure  and a warm and round finish without appearing cloying.

    Among the recent vintages I really appreciate 2016, among the older vintages the most interesting I have tasted is 2006, which has a really round and velvety tannin and has not yet reached its peak.

    For those who want more information, this is the link to access the Unico web page.

  • Portico: …but only the quiet of the Portico gives wings to Thought

    The first information about Merlot comes from 1783, known by the name “Merlau”, while the actual name “Merlot”
    comes from 1824, in a treatise on Medoc wines.
    The origin of the name is quite interesting, it comes from a bird called “Blackbird”(in French it is called “Merle”), which it particularly loves the grapes of this variety.

    According to genetic analyzes, Merlot is the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (a vinegrape that is now almost extinct).

    Our wines follow a common philosophy and the Portico is no exception: a pure wine aged in oak barriques.
    In our opinion, Merlot should not only be structured but also it should have an important elegance and softness, as well as complex and elegant aromas. Great attention is given especially to the moment of harvesting, which is essential for obtaining this type of wine.

    The winery currently has 1.3 hectares of Merlot, a more “recent” part (23 years) and an older part (30-35 years).

    Dark red in color, tertiary aromas and ripe fruit predominate on the nose, especially dark cherry, blackberry and cedar.

    Among the more “recent” vintages, I really appreciate 2013. Recently I also tasted older vintages and the 2007 and 2003 impressed me very positively.

  • Syrah: An expressive wine with a titanic consistency

    “Syrah” is certainly one of the best known and most loved vines in the world; many winelovers would do anything to have a great bottle of Syrah.
    When my father decided to plant the first hectare of Syrah, he had in mind to create a wine of great consistency, unique among many of its kind. One of the secrets for making a Syrah worthy of this name is given by the choice and the wise use of the barrique.

    Among all our wines, Syrah is one of the most awarded in the specialized press: in the first guide of the “Espresso”, to everyone’s amazement, Syrah 1999 was judged the third best wine in Italy and the best in Tuscany. It is an award that my father and I are proud of, considering the importance of the guides at the time (which today, sadly, have much less importance and authority than in the past).

    Intense ruby ​​red color, the most evident hints are blackberry and strawberry. My favorite vintage is 2008, a structured wine with intense aromas, of great power and viscosity with a long and pleasantly persistent finish. I am sure that this powerful wine with such a fabulous concentration it will last at least until 2030.

  • Sassoforte: An iron fist in a velvet glove

    Cabernet Sauvignon, in my opinion the most important vine in the world. The rampant autochthonous rhetoric defines it as “not typical”: it is often criticized for making wines that are too similar even if planted in different parts of the world, in other words someone say that Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t respect the “terroir” (using this word almost always inappropriately). It is true that there are more regions where you can have a good Cabernet Sauvignon than those for a good Ciliegiolo, but it is also true that Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from Napa Valley, New Zealand, Bordeaux and Tuscany have different identities among them having in common only the most important thing: they are all very good wines.

    As I think the reader has understood, I feel an immense love for this grape variety, lately a bit mistreated but with almost infinite potential.

    My father, known the pedoclimatic conditions of our vineyards, decided to create a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine. A bold choice that has found great success, with the creation of a unique and inimitable product.

    The name Sassoforte was taken from the family villa (so called because it was built on a large stone), an evocative name that means a lot to us. A particularity of Sassoforte is the label, really beautiful and impactful.

    The main feature of Sassoforte is its incredible structure which blends very well with the other properties of the wine, without being tannic and aggressive: a real “iron fist in a velvet glove”. The most evident aromas are blackcurrant and licorice, followed by pepper, cinnamon and myrtle.

    There are many vintages that impressed me but the last one (after 10 years we taste a “mature” wine for a final judgment) Sassoforte 2009 particularly amazed me with its “enormous” elegance.

    P.S. I don’t know when I’ll write a new article but I promise that I won’t spend 3 months like with the Malbec!


    Sasha Fossi