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  • Italy 2021 Leonardo Bussoletti Narni Ciliegiolo "Asla"

2021 Leonardo Bussoletti Narni Ciliegiolo "Asla"

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Chances are you've had ciliegiolo before whether you realize it or not, as it is a relatively common blending grape in Tuscany that likely found its way into your bottle of Chianti. Further east in Umbria, Leonardo Bussoletti has been championing this indigenous variety, making no less than a half a dozen different bottlings of 100% Ciliegiolo, the only red variety that Bussoletti grows on 9 hectares of vines. Since taking over his family vineyard in 2009, he's been laser focused on this grape, working with the University of Milan to identify over 30 clones of this variety, and identifying and grafting the clones he feels are ideal for his vineyards. He's serious about Ciliegiolo and thinks it has potential to make serious wine, not merely playing second fiddle to Sangiovese. That said, this particular bottling is one of his more playful efforts right down to the bottle art referencing C.S. Lewis' Narnia (said to be inspired by the picturesque town of Narni where Bussoletti resides). That said, there's some structure here and this is a fun wine that can stand up to hearty fare if it has to, but the strawberry and raspberry fruit on the palate will treat your mouth right even if you are sipping it alone.