Talking about Alessandro Dettori and his wines is a very difficult task, as his figure has been gradually outlined with the characteristics of the timeless romantic myth. Actually Alessandro is light years away from this mythology, a bit naive, which unfortunately ends up neglecting its true strengths, such as the determination, a bit stubborn (so viscerally “Sardinian”), the great technical-agronomical background, and an enviable pragmatism.
In a patch of land of Romangia, whose indigenous inhabitants produced wine already 1000 years before Christ, less than 5 kilometers from the sea, in the northwestern part of that continent enclosed on an island such as Sardinia, Alessandro is the most authoritative and well-known spokesman of a viticulture inspired by the wisdom of the fathers and the fathers’ fathers. In this sense, not out of false modesty, he wants to remind the most distracted that he did not invent anything, but he learned fully from the wine experience of the place, first by his grandfather who took him, very young, in the vineyards, putting him in touch with that world he would learn to love.
Alessandro could undoubtedly be called a natural winemaker, despite being totally detached from the fairy tale myth that naturalness has built around itself. To understand the man just think of the birth of his totally buried cellar: after years of study and excavation to accommodate it, three years were expected to allow the study of soil sealing and infiltration of water, in order to identify the most suitable areas in which to build the vinification and maturation environments.
As for production techniques, the winery refuses any form of chemical systems in the vineyard, even at the cost of losing an entire year (as in 2008), and every intervention is motivated by the will to enhance the ability of the vines to regulate themselves. Once the grapes have reached the right level of ripeness, the harvest takes place, followed by the manual selection of the bunches, on a special steel table (by the manual destemming) and by a maceration in cement that does not have a defined time but that, simply, lasts the time that Alexander’s experience deems “necessary”. After the manual drawing off, which allows a greater delicacy and the absence of shock to the masses, the wine is racked in small cement tanks, where it ages from 2 to 3 years before bottling, without adding CO2.
Dettori Bianco, for example, is a wine produced in about 4000 bottles a year, obtained from Vermentino grapes grown in a plot of almost four hectares on each of which grow about 5500 vines over half a century old, grown as small tree. Despite being a white berried grape, this wine is also left to macerate for a few days on the skins, while the aging in cement is shorter than the reds (just a few months) and is followed by bottling without clarification or filtration.
The 2019 vintage has a bold straw yellow color, just veiled, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of dried apricot, prickly pear, hay and strawberry tree honey, followed by kumquats, eucalyptus, myrtle and flint, with final echoes of damp pebbles. The palate is dense and full-bodied, with a balsamic vein that lightens and balances the taste, along with a hint of white pepper and the sapid/ mineral component; all enriched by the return of the fruit and spice that accompany the sip until a long closing on the characteristic almond notes.
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