Ficomontanino "Zacinta Revi" Bianco Tosacano 2020

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Winemaker: Maria Sole

Appellation: Tuscany, Italy

Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese

“Zacinta Revi” is named after one of the family’s beloved horses. In previous vintages it was a Sauvignon Blanc in purezza, but in 2020 Maria Sole employed 30% directly pressed Sangiovese (Sangiovese vinified as a white wine, in other words) to add complexity. Furthermore, she allowed the Sauvignon Blanc to macerate on its skins for three days: enough time to contribute a bit of color and to enhance the wine’s textural persistence, but not enough to turn it into a full-bore skin-contact-style white. The results are delightful, with tangerine, anise, and musky flowers supported by firm minerality and tangy acidity. The fruit for “Zacinta Revi” comes from 20-year-old vines in the chalky clay soils of the Poggio alle Ficaie vineyard at 350 meters altitude, and Marie Sole aged it for six months on the fine lees in stainless steel after a natural fermentation without temperature regulation.

Maria Sole’s farm is called Ficomontanino (roughly, “Little Fig Mountain”), a property her grandfather acquired in the 1960s as a place to produce olive oil and breed horses. Situated in the far southeast of the region near the town of Chiusi, Ficomontanino is administratively part of Tuscany, but geographically and spiritually it speaks to both Umbria and Lazio, both of whose borders are mere kilometers away. From her 12 hectares of vines, planted at around 350 meters altitude on the south-facing slopes of her family’s property, one can see Lake Trasimeno in Umbria to the east, the mountains of northern Lazio to the south, and the rolling hills of Siena to the northwest.

Maria Sole’s grandfather planted the first vines here almost 40 years ago, making wine as a hobby, and while Maria Sole’s father ramped up production a bit, his approach was more conventional, informed by then-current trends toward power and color. Having studied at Slow Food’s University of Culinary Arts at Pollenzo, Maria Sole was inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Masanobu Fukuoka to reimagine her family’s vineyards as part of a larger ecosystem, and when she gained responsibility for them in 2014, she set about establishing a natural equilibrium on the property, incorporating biodynamic preparations, allowing vegetation to grow freely, and relying on only bare traces of copper-sulfate to treat her vineyards.