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De Fermo

Don Carlino Pecorino De Fermo 2018, biodynamic wine, aged in barrels, 100% Pecorino, a baby Emidio Pepe, incredible depth, style and complexity, lifting this grape variety to a new level. Hand harvested in small baskets. Spontaneous fermentation with no temperature control in concrete tanks and 5hl barrels. Ten months in barrel on the lees with weekly stirring. No fining, no filtration. The fruit is full, but not prosaic, Pecorino can be a bit simple at times, fruity and non descript Italian white wine, like many other of their white grapes. When done well, it shows how Italian grapes can be exceptional, sour on the finish, nutty, earthy, herbs and forest floor with a layered texture and fruitiness, really excellent. Stefano Papetti Ceroni’s interest in wine was obvious from the age of 12, when he started reading wine reviews in his mother’s cooking magazines. By age 18, he was buying every bottle he could. The route to a career in wine, though, was long. Both he and his wife, Eloisa De Fermo, had successful law careers in Bologna when they were married in 2005. When Stefano first visited the De Fermo family vineyards in 2007, Stefano was smitten. He later stumbled upon a long-abandoned winery, dating back to 1785, buried under the family house. This was a sign too powerful to ignore - Stefano began restoring the winery and started to make wine. He and Eloisa took over the estate in 2009 and immediately began converting it to biodynamics for which they are now certified. The farm is located in Loreto Aprutino (Abruzzo), halfway between the Adriatic sea (20km) and the southernmost European glacier (20km). In the vineyard, which covers 17 hectares at 270-320 meters of altitude, biodynamic principles are applied since 2009. They do not add or use selected yeasts and don’t control fermentation temperatures. They do not fine and/or filter wines. The vineyards are predominantly planted with the typical grapes of the region, Montepulciano and Pecorino, but also include nearly 3 acres of Chardonnay imported from France and planted in 1926 by Eloisa's Burgundy-loving great uncle. Stefano and Eloisa see their vineyard and wine production as parts of a greater whole, with their vines growing alongside olives, cereals and legumes, and the couple managing the entire farm holistically. Steafnos says; 'the goal is to have wines which have character, which are individual, which are genuine.' We would vote for that!