The Mandrarossa wines come from a selection of the best sites from Cantine Settesoli’s 6,000 hectares of vineyard, situated in southwestern Sicily and planted with 32 different grape varieties. The vineyards are split between the 2,000 members of the co-op, and cover the area around Selinunte, the hauntingly beautiful ruins of a Greek town founded 2,600 years ago. Cantine Settesoli helps to support the restoration of this archaeological site.
First produced in 1999, Mandrarossa is about to open its own winery as it becomes increasingly focused on single-site wines. This is only fitting, as it was conceived after the diverse soils of the vineyards were mapped, enabling the winemakers to focus on what were then ranked their best sites. Under the leadership of co-operative president Giuseppe Bursi, consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini has sought to improve viticulture, which in turn has resulted in better wines.
Working with soil specialist Pedro Parra and head winemaker Mimmo De Gregorio, Alberto has selected 500 hectares of vineyard, from 160 growers, for the production of the Mandrarossa wines. These vineyards are situated close to the sea, where intense sunlight, moderating sea breezes, mild temperatures, multiple elevations and a myriad of different soil types combine to give the sort of grapes that Mimmo and Alberto are looking for. Pedro has singled out limestone as the soil with the highest potential for quality wines.
The vineyards for this wine are located in the area around Menfi on the south-western coast of Sicily. Vines grow on south and south–west facing hills at 100-400 metres above sea level on limestone soil. Vines are Guyot trained and planted at a density of 4,000-4,500 plants per hectare.
The grapes were hand harvested at the beginning of September. After being crushed and destemmed, the grapes were fermented in stainless-steel tanks at 22-25°C with eight to 10 days of skin contact. The wine was then aged for three months in stainless-steel tanks at 10°C and another three months in the bottle before release.
This wine is medium ruby red in colour with purple hints. On the nose, it has aromas of black cherries, plums and red berries. The palate is velvety with intense fruit flavours of plums and red berries.