Madrevite of Trasemino

Trasemino is a large lake in Umbria, the landlocked province that neighbours Tuscany to its northwest and Le Marche to the east. It’s a hilly and fertile landscape, where the Madrevite estate extends over 60 hectares on the border with Tuscany. Of these, 11 hectares are vineyard, planted on soils of sand and clay with pebble layers.

Madrevite was founded in 2003 by Nicola Chiucchiurlotto (pictured), replanting his grandfather Zino’s old vineyards at altitude between 280 to 350 metres above sea level. The principal variety cultivated is the Gamay del Trasimeno which, despite the name, is a synonym for Grenache. There is also Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Syrah.

White wines are dominated by Trebbiano Spoletino, an indigenous member of the Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc family that is unique to Umbria, along with Grechetto.

Nicola is a third generation winegrower, cultivating his vineyards organically and sustainably. Only wild yeasts are used for fermenation. For me, the wines exhibit a subtle ‘natural wine’ feel. Indeed the sparkling wine tasted here is basically a ‘Pet Nat’, made by the ancestral method with second fermentation begun in Spring using Trebbiano Spoletino must, no yeast or sugar, and a slight haziness on pouring as it is not disgorged. A combintaion of stainless steel, large old oak vats and French oak barriques is employed in the cellar.

Viticulture here has its origins in the Etruscan, and then Roman periods, Madrevite describing the climate as like a “thermal flywheel,” between the lake and the hills, giving optimal conditions with mild winters and hot, but breezy summers and good diurnal shift between day and night temperatures. I enjoyed these wines – certainly offering something rather different, in the highly expressive Trebbiano Spoletino and juicy but structured Gamay del Trasimeno. The wines have limited availability in the UK at present, but see individual notes below for stockists.

White and Sparkling

(2022) This is basically a 'Pet Nat' with zero dosage and undisgorged, so expect it to be lightly hazy. It is 100% Trebbiano Spoletino, aged six months, and only 3350 bottles were produced. Pale yellow with a gentle mousse, there is a yeasty character to the lemony, bread aroma. Sharply-focused on the palate, it is bone dry, and very refreshing, crisp green apple and citrus stay sheer and sherbetty to the finish. No UK stockist at time of review.
(2022) Made from Trebbiano Spoletino, grown at 320 metres altitude. Aged six months on the Lees with some skin contact, the colour is light yellow, and the nose is pungent and aromatic, herbal with some wild scrubland notes, the palate is juicy and fruity, with plenty of grapefruit cut and energy, a pithy lemon and bags of personality.

Rosé and Red

(2022) A really interesting wine, an orangey/salmon colour, made from Gamay del Trasimeno grown at 320 metres. The wine was made in stainless steel and cement tanks. It has a vibrant, sherbetty nose of raspberry and strawberry, the palate too has that blend of pulpy red fruit sweetness and vibrant, citrus acidity giving a very tangy finish.
(2022) Made from 100% Gamay del Trasimeno (Grenache), spontaneous fermentation is followed by maceration on the skins and 10 months ageing in cement tanks. A bright and quite transulcent ruby, aromas are delicate with a wild strawberry and floral edge. The palate is very pure and sweet-fruited, a wine with lots of graceful fruit sharpened by fine and firm tannins and acidity, surprisingly weightless in the mouth given its 14% alcohol, balanced and drinks nicely.
(2022) Made from Gamay del Trasimeno, which is in fact a synonym for Grenache, this underwent spontaneous fermentation, with 20% whole bunches. After six months in cement tanks it was aged for a further 12 months in 1,000-barrels, six more months in bottle meaning a full two years of ageing. The colour is a soft and relatively pale ruby, that belies the power within. Firm cherry and cherry-pit aromas with a sheen of polished wood, then great sweetness of fruit onto the palate. Spices marry with the alcohol and sandy, but grippy, tannins to give lots of savoury, chewy character. There is well-judged acidity to balance.

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