Mattia Filippi UnderTheSky 2010

15 Feb

Balmy starlit summer skies is something that we all can relate to in one way or another. For me personally it brings back many happy memories of the nights I spend star gazing, searching for the falling star to make all my wishes come true:-) Looking up up at the twinkling stars light years away from here, always made me feel quite small yet also very important. In the warmth of the night, and enveloped by stardust I was a princess in my own fairy tale which held at least 1001 possibilities!

Whilst in Italy a few month ago my friend Magda and I had dinner with a young winemaker from Trentino and his beautiful also winemaker fiancée. Over pizza I found out that one night Mattia had been sitting on the hill with Rosella in their pocket sized vineyard gazing at the stars and dreaming of the future. And all at once he felt that he just had to make an as natural as possible single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the 5 rows of old vines planted there. He felt that a hand crafted small volume “natural” wine would bring out the true expression of the terroir and knew he just had to follow his dream.

He also knew that making a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon would not be allowed under the Casteller DOC rules. Casteller DOC wines are red blends made up of Lambrusco, Schiava (Grossa and Gentile are both allowed) and a little Merlot and/or Lagrein and/or Teroldego. Hence UnderTheSky was released as an ITG (Indicatazione Geografica Tipica) and as well as being hand crafted the wine also became a hand seller… ITG wines are still generally viewed as being of “lower quality” especially in Italy, and with a small volume (less than 5000 bottles/year) there isn’t any large budget for export marketing. So according to Rosella, it is the story, the dream, and the stardust and the label which hand sells each and every bottle of UnderTheSky.

The wine is a beautiful example of an elegant low yielding Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were allowed to fully ripen, then went through a double selection process and only optimal fruit was used, eliminating green notes or harsh tanins cooler climate Cabernet Sauvignon often displays.

UnderTheSky has a dark ruby colour and a spicy red fruit nose. On the palate there are lots of wild strawberries, raspberries and even a little bit of ripe plum. It’s an elegant wine, with a good mouth feel and an almost brushed velvet tanin structure. I loved the hint of very dark silky chocolate and Christmas spice (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel) in the longish finish. As the wine is still young, it will benefit from decanting and needs the opportunity to open up a little.

I do believe this wine like most Cabernets will benefit from some aging (2-3 years) but it is already very yummy and uber drinkable now! In fact I found it a fairy tale wine to go with the fairy tale story and sipping on it I was taken back to a warm summer night full of possibility and stardust and once again felt like a princess:-)

- Caroline Henry

Caroline is a wine lover, certified sommelier and wine marketing and social media consultant based in Champagne. She has a particular interest in Champagne and natural wine and blogs about all things wine related at Missinwine.com. She has recently written guest posts for Vinogusto.com and winetravelguides.com.

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