Cesanese 2021, Casale del Giglio

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There's a famous pasta sauce in Rome called "all'Amatriciana," and it's a quick pan sauce that includes tomato, chili flake, black pepper, and guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl). It's a simple sauce, with just enough heat from the chili, a little musky spice from the pepper, and bright tomato flavor that balances the porky richness. Are you salivating yet...? Well, imagine that dish, but in wine form, and you have Cesanese. In Italy, the traditional pairing for that bowl of pasta is indeed this exact wine, and when you crack open a bottle you can see why—the wine tastes a lot like the sauce!

It's bright, but instead of tomatoey brightness, there's blueish fruit lifted by a citrusy zip. It's complex, with a little leather and sheet metal lurking behind vegetal pepper notes. Just like a good bowl of noodles, this wine will keep you coming back for more, over and over again!

About the Winery

Casale del Giglio was founded in 1967 by Dr. Berardino Santarelli, a native of the Appenine hill-town of Amatrice. The estate lies between the towns of Aprilia and Latina in the Agro Pontino valley, some 50 kilometers south of Rome. Unlike other parts of the Latium region, or other regions of Italy, this territory was still uncharted in viticultural terms when Berardino and his son, Antonio, launched their research project in 1985.

Endorsed by the Agricultural Department of Latium’s Regional Government, the project involved researchers of international standing, many of whom still contribute to Casale del Giglio’s research today: Prof. Attilio Scienza from Milan University’s “Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree,” Prof. Angelo Costacurta from the “Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura di Conegliano” (Treviso), and Prof. Fulvio Mattivi from the Research & Innovation Centre at the “Fondazione Edmund Mach” – “Istituto Agrario Provinciale San Michele all’Adige” (Trento) – where Casale del Giglio’s winemaker, Paolo Tiefenthaler, was trained.

Since the project was aimed at identifying and maximizing the territory’s potential for quality viticulture, useful comparisons were made with processes adopted in Bordeaux, California, and Australia—wine producing areas of the world influenced, like the Agro Pontino valley, by a maritime climate.

Casale del Giglio subscribes to the philosophy that “the future of Italian viticulture relies not only on consolidating the image of its traditional wine producing zones, but on its ability to produce top quality wines at favorable prices in areas whose potential is still relatively unexplored."

As a result of Casale del Giglio’s research, the European Community authorized the cultivation of “new recommended varieties,” such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, in the province of Latina (from 1990), while other varieties were authorized later.

Casale del Giglio has converted its 180 hectares of vineyard to the cordon trained system, electing to plant those grape varieties which adapt well to the territory and produce quality wines.

Casale del Giglio currently offers a range of 22 products – seven white wines, one rosé, seven reds, one late harvest, three grappas, and an extra virgin olive oil.