This wine is a light red, with a pleasant amount of depth to it. I can’t help being influenced by the name of the grape which refers to cherry flavors as well as the shape of the grapes. The wine is bright, not too cherry-fruity, and lovely to sip on its own before dinner. It also has a certain amount of umami in its character so try pairing it with sun-dried tomatoes and other savory, even smoky flavors.
Ciliegiolo is an indigenous grape of Italy. Its cultivation had dwindled alarmingly until the recent return to authenticity in agriculture. Now more ciliegiolo is being grown on the warm hillsides in the Maremma part of Tuscany.
In the Maremma, grapes at the Sassotondo winery have been organically grown since 1994. The winery is a member of the Volcanic Wines Association, which highlights the contribution of current and ancient volcanoes to the soil where the grapes are grown. This terroir is obvious in the minerality that teases the nose and palate, once the wine has opened and developed in the glass, a few minutes after being poured.
Don’t hesitate to chill the wine a bit, especially on hot days.