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Carussin Il Carica L'Asino 2011

Carussin Il Carica L'Asino 2011

Sku: 052267

Carussin is a 17-hectare family-run estate in the town of San Marzano Oliveto, province of Asti, near the bigger town of Canelli (famous for its Moscato). They are certified organic by Suolo e Salute, and have been uncertified biodynamic since 2000. They are Barbera specialists, making 4 different barberas and a passito of barbera, along with their delicious Moscato, which you also have in the store now. In 2005 they purchased 2-hectare plot near their home. An elderly couple owned the land and they were about to lose it to the bank. The Ferro-Garberoglio clan stepped in and purchased it. The land was planted to Moscato and this ancient Ligurian/Piedmontese border grape called Carica l'Asino ('Load up the Donkey'). The woman had taken cuttings from her friend's vineyard in Acqui Terme (southern Piedmont right near Liguria). It is thought to be related to Pigato and Vermentino, and was often found in the high and rocky places that required donkeys to transport the fruit. There are a few coincidences: the vineyard is located in an area called Valle Asinari (Valley of the Donkey breeders); Bruna Ferro of Carussin has 11 donkeys that she use for pet therapy for young kids, people with autism, people with drug addiction, people with psychiatric problems; and the grape itself is called Load up the Donkey! They blend with 30% Cortese (Alto Monferrato clone). Otherwise they said the wine would be way too acidic and salty (although I say bring that on!). It is fermented in fiberglass tanks, and malolactic occurs in stainless steel tanks, where the wine is held til bottling. It remains unsulfured until bottling, about 13mg/L added, so very low. They believe there are one of 3 commercial producers working with the varietal.

Carica l’Asino is one of those obscure but seductive Italian grapes that you’ll only find in one place — in this case, Piedmont. On the first sip, I expected bracing minerality; instead, I was surprised by bright, white flowers and a subtle, sneaky acidity underneath its creamy texture. It’s addictive.
~ Beth, Wine Buyer at 67Wine

Other text
The Carussin vineyard is in Moscato country, near the town of Asti. When the Ferro-Garberoglio family first purchased the estate, it was, in fact, planted to Moscato. However, they also planted an ancient Ligurian-Piemontese border grape called Carica l’Asino, which literally translates to “load up the donkey.” The name is apt: Carica l’Asino is often found in places so difficult to navigate that donkeys are needed. The family believes that they are one of only three commercial producers working with Carica l’Asino, and since the grape is quite acidic, they soften it with 30 percent Cortese, a grape usually seen in Gavi. They then ferment the wine in fiberglass tanks and let it undergo malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The result is that the wine’s flavors are pure and unadulterated.
~ Beth, Wine Buyer at 67Wine

Food pairing
This floral Carica l’Asino pairs beautifully with a pan-roasted chicken and rosemary-and-thyme-flecked brown jus. The Cortese grape lends a soft, creamy mouthfeel, the Carica’s lively acidity emerges against the buttery sauce, and the jus’ piney-rosemary flavors make the wine seem near-sweet and near-salty enough for added complexity.
~ Beth, Wine Buyer at 67Wine

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Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Grape Varietal: Non-Varietal White Blend
Type: Still wine

Reg. $21.99

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