Denavolo is located on the footsteps of the Apennins between 350 and 600 meters high. The estate is named after the Mountain overlooking the cellar and parcels. Despite a hot and dry climate, diurnal temperature fluctuations in the summertime are quite high (> 10°C) bringing good acidity to benefit the wines.
Giulio Armani, who has been the winemaker at Elena Pantaleoni’s legendary estate La Stoppa, created Denavolo in 2005, by producing first orange wines from a 32 year-old vineyard (Debe) on 2 ha, located between 350 and 450 meters high. There, the soil has both clay and limestone. Then, in 2008 and 2009, he planted his owned parcels much higher (500 to 600 meters high) : two plots named Campo Rotonde and Cassandra. These 3 additionnal hectares produce the wine CATAVELA; a young, fruity and light white wine. The soil is very stony with much more chalk and high draining potential. Grapes planted are Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Ortugo, Marsanne, Trebbiano and very little Santa Maria and Sauvignon blanc. The work in the vineyard follow the organic culture rules with treatment only made by Copper and Sulfure.
25% each of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Marsanne, Ortrugo, and an as-yet unidentified variety from the lower slopes of the vineyard.
Dinavolino displays the sort of textured tannins you’d expect from a red but softened beautifully to sit well within the white wine camp. Made from equal parts Malvasia di Candia Aromatico, Marsanne, Ortrugo and an unidentified grape that’s a mystery even to the maker, Dinavolino is left of centre before fermentation’s even begun. Growing vines at an elevation of 1500 feet and picking berries at a potential alcohol of 11.5% is almost guaranteed to put acidity as the centrepiece of your wine, and the corresponding low pH has allowed Armani to get away with adding no sulphur whatsoever.
Besides the striking acidity on its very clean, textured palate, the wine balances somewhere near the middle of the floral–fruit spectrum. Four months on the skins have added apricots, apples, orange blossom and a little spice to the nose – none of which would present had the winemaker trodden a more conventional path. Unfiltered too. Pair with salt cod, ricotta-filled pasta or hard cheese.