Tanca Nica - Firri Firri 2020
Region: Pantelleria / Sicily
Grapes: 85% Catarratto, 10% Pignatello, 5% Inzolia
Firri Firri is a traditional hoe used in the vineyards, and also the nickname of the old vignaiolo who previously owned the land.
Think rose on this wine. The wine has a very pale red / orange colour, similar to a Poulsard. Notes of pomegranate, mandarin and anise spice. Juicy, fresh and a bit salty. Delicious.
50 year old bush vines on volcanic sand, a cool NE exposed plot at 300m altitude, the vines were harvested at the end of September, and the whole bunches were processed altogether – three days maceration, fermentation and ageing in vats. Blended with 10% of 'riserva perpetua' before bottling, 15mg/l SO2 total.
The Italian island of Pantelleria sits between Sicily and Africa in the Mediterranean. Tanca Nica was founded by Sardinian Nicoletta Pecorelli and Pantellerian Francesco Ferrero. Tanca in Pantesco dialect is a small hilly land arranged in terraces in which the vines grow, while Nica is the name of the place where the thermal waters emerge from the seabed and mix with the Mediterranean blue.
The island is a mix of varied volcanic soils made up of pumice (soki soki) and fragments of volcanic eruptions (lapilli), createing a mineral rich terroir from which wines of great personality are made.
They Biodynamically farm 2 hectares of parcel specific expressions of Zibibbo, also known Moscato d’Alessandria, Pignatello, which in Pantelleria is called Nivuro Nostrale, or "black of the place", and finally Catarratto. The tiny production is just 4000 bottles a year.
They employ several techniques based on ancient methods to solve two of the main challenges of viticulture on the island, namely strong winds and water scarcity. With the inventive solution of Alberello Pantesco, they plant low density bush vines in a dug out hollow called a “conca”. This provides protection from the wind while collecting scarce water in the winter. (Similar to places like the Lanzarote and Samos.)
Other vines are planted with a classic system of small Pantelleria saplings in-between alternating rows of green beans and wheat to protect the vines from strong winds. They also plant a small number of vines against terraced walls which provide sun exposure and again protect from intense winds.
In the cantina, grapes are de-stemmed by hand, with the aid of a net, and pressed by foot, fermentation is spontaneous with only indigenous yeasts and without fining and filtration. The use of added sulphur is vintage & Cuvee specified.