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CODA DELLA FOCE

CODA DELLA FOCE

RISERVA MENFI DOC

RISERVA MENFI DOC

Coda della Foce is a beautiful wine in a fine clothing, someone said: stylish, never intrusive, feeling at ease in every situation, and charmingly seductive.

It is a blend of Nero d’Avola and Petit Verdot, separately made and refined, assembled after an accurate selection of the barrels that express great personality. It is produced only in the best vintages that are able to develop a superior quality after a long refining.

Super Sicilian by birth, a world citizen by choice of life.

THE SHORT STORY

THE SHORT STORY

Grape variety: Nero d'Avola, Petit Verdot
Soil: very deep and fertile alluvial clay soil
Vineyard: planted in 2004, vertical shoot positioning, spur pruned cordon
Winemaking: skin maceration for about 2 weeks in steel tanks, with regular pumping-overs and déléstage
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: from 2 to 4 years in large neutral Slavonian oak casks, depending on the vintage and on the wine's character
Average production: 3.500 bottles/year, only in the best vintages

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HOW CODA DELLA FOCE WAS BORN

HOW CODA DELLA FOCE WAS BORN

My father Pietro would only drink Bordeaux: he loved Pétrus (also because the wine had his same name, I guess) and Margaux above all. Of course not something very affordable, and not for every day…

When he started making wine for his only pleasure, he basically used Merlot. But the Sicilian Merlot is totally different from the French: our grapes are sweeter and riper, with a milder acidity, and softer tannins. Delaying the harvest to pursue a higher aromatic concentration often leads to over ripening. It was a big problem.

After he planted the Petit Verdot in Tenuta Belicello, things started to get better: Petit Verdot has beautiful rich tannins, amazing color and, most of all, it gets ripe later than the Merlot, with a higher degree of acidity.
This was the solution for him: blending together Merlot and Petit Verdot, with a small amount of Nero d’Avola (10 to 20% in his first attempts), he could emulate the Bordeaux style he craved for, adding a touch of Sicilian personality.

Year after year the quantity of Nero d'Avola in the blend has increased, while the Merlot has progressively decreased until vintage 2011, where the blend is only between Nero d'Avola and Pertit Verdot: the contribution of each variety may change every vintage, and it depends on each grapes’ character. I always look for overall balance among three different components: acidity, tannins and fruitiness being harmonically fused in a full bodied dark wine that can age for years.

Coda della Foce is the only wine that I make that doesn't come from a single vineyard: it is my signature wine, a tribute to the memory of my dear father and to his passion for wine.

WINEMAKING

The vineyards of Nero d'Avola and Petit Verdot grow in the heart of Tenuta Belicello, where the dark green-gray soil is made of by clay banks that allow the underground fresh water flowing South from the upper part of the Belice Valley. The microclimate here is very favorable: dominant breezes blow from the ocean during the day, and from the Valley at night, a constant flow that freshens air temperature and contributes to prevent humidity stagnation.

The varieties are separately harvested in mid-September. Immdiately brought to the winery after the harvest, the grapes are destemmed and crushed and undergo spontaneous fermentation on the skins for about two weeks in stainless steel tanks.
Also malolactic is spontaneous, in old French barriques. After the racking, the three wines are refined separately for a minimum of 12 months in French barriques and tonneaux. At the end of the first year of refining, the best barrels are selected to make the blend that will refine for at least one more year (but often two years) in a big Slavonian oak barrel.

Bottled without fining nor filtration, Coda della Foce ages in bottles for at least one year before being released to the market.

TASTING NOTES

Coda della Foce is the wine I choose for every special moments, and whenever I look for an intense and pleasant tasting experience.

It is a complex, elegant, harmonic and powerful wine, which fruity aromas are enriched by the fresh and voluptuous notes of the Mediterranean shrub.
The wine has a dark ruby red color with a deep purple hue, and reveals an intense bouquet of rose and violet, fruity notes of raspberry jam and the finest sweet spices. On the palate, it is full and well balanced: notes of red berries and black cacao powder enrich its good structure and smooth tannins. Dark and pleasant mineral tones on the finish.

It is perfect with braised red meats, with veal Spezzatino, game birds and matured cheeses like the Caciocavallo Ragusano DOP or the Pecorino cheese with pepper seeds from the Belice Valley area. My favorite combination is with Valrhona Guanaja 70% black chocolate, not extremely bitter and very tasty.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 57 - 61 °F
Coda della Foce can be best appreciated if poured in large Bordeaux style glasses. If kept at cellar temperature it develops amazing complexity and supplies an intense tasting pleasure. Its long refining suggests to open the bottle a few hours before tasting, in order to give the wine a chance to aerate, enhancing subtle flavors and aromas, and making an enormous difference to its character. Decanting is usually not necessary, unless you are drinking an older bottle.

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