Dec 31, 2020Chris LaBranche

Conestabile della Staffa Il Nuovo Rosso 2020 - $24.99


One of the most wonderful vinous evolutions we’ve seen in recent years is the resurgence of Beaujolais Nouveau. What used to represent everything that was wrong with wine–overcropping, intensive, chemical agriculture, excessive manipulations with little regard for terroir or authenticity–is experiencing a renaissance of good Nouveau. After all, when you’re looking for a pure, unadulterated wine to quench your thirst, what better than the closest thing to pure, organic grape juice than a properly made, natural Nouveau? And not all the great examples of this jubilant style are coming from Beaujolais, or even France. Italy, Spain, the USA all have excellent examples of this year’s youngest wine brought to market in a thoughtful way. We begin this month, and this new year, of Sauvage with one of the finest we’ve yet tasted from one of our most cherished natural growers in Umbria, Conestabile della Staffa. 


Danilo Marcucci’s inaugural bottling of his ‘Nuovo’ is one of the most joyful natural reds we’ve come across in some time. ‘Nuovo’ represents Danilo taking the Beaujolais Nouveau approach with Sangiovese, Cilegiolo, & Aleatico. The wine undergoes a partial-carbonic maceration (crucial to the process) and is vinified using some whole-clusters (also traditional in the Beaujolais) before being bottled very shortly after fermentation. Danilo did experiment with a very brief period of aging in fiberglass, but nonetheless this is as fresh and youthful a red as you will yet come across, with freshness, zip, and vivacity to spare. Enjoy it cool, no matter how cold it is outside, and with just about anything that you’re craving.


by Liza Morgioni

Grown Ups- Ali Mcguirk

This wine is all about embracing its youth. Sure, it could age for a bit longer, but it doesn’t see the fun in that. In this song, the singer is in total denial of growing up. Though, I think that the overall message of the song is less about staying a certain age, and more about staying true to yourself as you and others around you grow. This zippy nuovo still stays true to the Umbrian terroir, and doesn't sacrifice tradition for the sake of nuance. Besides, Conestabile della Staffa vineyard is a window into Umbrain tradition- Danilo Marcucci, the current vigneron, married into a family of ancient noble lineage, and the vineyard is located on the grounds of their estate. 

Actually, I saw Ali McGuirk perform once at a concert in the mountains of upstate New York. The crowd was hypnotized by her, hanging on to her calming yet vivacious performance; we were captivated. I felt absolutely content being exactly where I was in that moment, and I think that in whatever instance you decide to open your Nuovo Rosso, you will feel the same.

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