About the Wine
Until recently, most of the wines from the Lazio region of Italy, home of Rome, found their way into the glasses of locals. Because a market for the region’s wine always existed, wineries didn’t have much incentive to take things up a notch. That’s changed in the past two decades or so, and Damiano Ciolli is one of theessential producers leading the way to a new level of wine quality in Lazio.
About 75% of wine production in the region is white, often fresh wines meant for immediate consumption. Red wine in the Roman region has always been rare. Treasured even in the glory days of the Roman Empire, the locals didn’t leave much to be shared with the rest of the world. No one dared try to take the precious red wines from the goblets of Roman Gladiators.
The region is still often overlooked, which is fantastic news for those looking foramazing quality that doesn’t break the bank. Damiano Ciolli’s Silene Cesanese di Olevano Romano is a wine that more than fits this description.
Gamberro Rosso praises Damiano Ciolli, saying it’s a symbol of Cesanese, giving the 2017 vintage of SileneTre Bicchieri, which means excellence and aglobal benchmark among buyers or wine collectors.
Produced in Olevano Romano on the South-Eastern hillsides, just outside the ancient city of Rome, the hilly and mountainous country is made up of mostly volcanic soil. Over the last 4 generations, the Ciolli family worked the land and sold their grapes to other local wine producers. In 2001, Damiano took over the family winery and began to bottle his wines, collaborating with his partner Letizia Rocchi.
Together, the wines they make are atestament to the nobility of the Cesanese D’Affile grape and the great terroir of the Ciolli vineyards that extend over 7 hectares of steep Roman hillside where all the work is done by hand. This terroir allows the Cesanese d’Affile grapeperfect ripening conditions on the ancient Ciolli estate.
The Silene Cesanese di Olevano is100% Cesanese di Affile, dry, fruity, and an Italian treasure. If you’ve never had Casanese before, this is definitely the bottle to introduce you to this wine that the Romans did not easily share with the rest of the world.
Aging: Each block of grapes is fermented separately in concrete vats by natural fermentation and the maceration length is about 10 days then aged in concrete vats for no less than 1 year, after which is blended and ready to be bottled. Once in bottle, it rests in the cellar for another 3 months.
Tasting notes: Ruby red with notes of berries, flowers, juniper, herbs, and minerality. On the palate, it’s fresh, light, and fruity with a touch of cinnamon smoke and white pepper. Integrated tannins. The finish is dry and persistent.
An incredibly perfumed bouquet of fresh roses, violets and geranium with just a hint of wild blueberry lifts up from the 2019 Cesanese Superiore Silene. It’s soft and fleshy in feel, energized by bright acidity, and a concentrated mix of ripe woodland berries and minerals cascades across the palate. Energy remains high throughout as the Silene tapers off with persistence to tart raspberry, licorice and white pepper, all the while buzzing with residual tension. The 2019 may sneak up on you slowly, yet it leaves you fully satisfied. ~91 Vinous Media
Two Glasses, Gambero Rosso 2022
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