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Il Mostro MV Ragana Pét-Nat of Pecorino & Chardonnay, Abruzzo, Italy

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  • Winemaker: Federica Jasci
  • Varieties: Pecorino, Chardonnay sparkling wine
  • Farming: Organic (certified since 1978!)
  • Terroir: Mediterranean with Adriatic influence. Fruit from a single vineyard, in two blocks that sit in an amphitheater that wraps around from southeast to northeast and ascending from 750 to 850 feet in elevation. Sandy clay loam with limestone deposits with 25+ year-old-vines.
  • Vinification: Hand-harvested, and the majority of the grapes were cooled down at the winery and fermented at a cool 60ºF with the remaining grapes being whole-bunch pressed to tank and chilled very cold to prevent fermentation and held in tank. Primary fermentation occurred naturally in a sealed stainless-steel tank and when the wine reached 15 g/L residual sugar the tank was cooled down in order to hold the ferment at 10 g/L. The wine was bottled and topped with more of the unfermented juice from tank and the bottles were crown sealed.
  • Aging: Secondary fermentation on the lees in bottle occurred over the next 2-3 months and the wine was disgorged and topped up along with a small addition of sulfur helping to preserve freshness and ward off unwanted microbes.

 From our 2022 Explorer Club Notes:

Il Mostro | Ragana Pét-Nat | Terre di Chieti Bianco Frizzante, Abruzzo, Italy  | 2xx

    Everyone experiments at one time or another. Poggio Anima, the joint project between Tuscany’s Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie in Montalcino and Ronnie Sanders of Vine Street Imports, began as a quest to get back to basics by bringing great, Italian regional wines of high quality and typicity to the US market. Il Mostro is the experimental side of Poggio Anima, where excitement, innovation, and nature lead the way. The project began during the pandemic as a way to make delicious, minimal-intervention sparkling wines in the ancestral method (basically, to make a pét-nat) from certified organic vineyards in Abruzzo. Il Mostro was inspired by the gorgeous amphitheater vineyard of Monteodorisio, in Chieti, Abruzzo. This was one of Italy’s first vineyards to be certified organic, and it sits up to 850 feet on a hillside of sandy clay loam and limestone near the calm shores of the Adriatic Sea. The tart Pecorino, which comprises 85% of this wine, and Chardonnay are hand-harvested from two blocks of the vineyard and partially whole-cluster fermented. When the wine fermented down a dryness of about 10 g/L of residual sugar, it was bottled with unfermented grape juice added to each bottle to encourage the fermentation to continue in the bottle. For the next few months, the wine finished fermenting to a dryness of less than 1 g/L of RS now, then disgorged so the heavy lees wouldn’t cause any instability as the wine bottle aged. 

    The Ragana is lightly cloudy as it is unfined and unfiltered, and has punchy aromatics of lemon-lime and freshly-cut grass. Don’t be scared, il mostro can’t hurt you! This wine is no monster; she’s a beautiful spritzer that wants to bring you back to nature. In pre-Indo-European myth, Ragana is a prophetess who rules the night, rules fertility, and controls the sun by halting its ascent after the Summer Solstice. She’s a powerful force of nature who closely fits the descriptions of the wise woman witch. Drink her this harvest season, and raise a glass to Ragana in thanks for the bounty you’ll enjoy this season and for managing the balance of life on our earth.  —Cara Patricia

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