The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei
2010 Lamoresca, Bianco, Sicilia IGT, Sicily
Lamoresca Bianco is made from the Vermentino Corso grape, the predominant white grape in southern Italy, with some Roussanne blended in. Lamoresca is prized as a “natural” wine – the grapes are sustainably grown without chemicals, and winemaking is, for the most part, a hands-off process. This white wine is harvested by hand, then the grapes are macerated for an extended period of time before the juice completes is fermentation in either wood or concrete tanks. Since this white wine spends more time on its skins than typical white wines, it develops an orange hue. (Click for more on orange wines from Wine of the Week).
Lamoresca’s winemaking proprietor, Filippo Rizzo, is considered one of the founders of the natural wine movement. After years as a restaurateur, he and his wife founded Lamoresca in a region near Sicily’s Mount Etna but 50 kilometers from the next nearest winery. In addition to grapes, the Rizzos also tend to olive trees, all by hand with minimal farm help. Lamoresca is named for the ancient and rare variety of olives grown on the property. It was founded in 2000.
Like many orange wines, the aroma is funkier than expected from a standard white wine, in a good way – smoky roasted nuts and dried apricots prevail with a hint of sherry-like aromas as well. There’s a definite burn as well from the 14.5% alcohol – much higher than a typical Old World white. The mouthfeel is supple and flavors of earth, apricots, and roasted nuts are supported by a refreshing but not too tart acidity. This wine goes well with salumi, flavorful cheeses, and hearty fish preparations.
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