Mission Codename Prigioniero
Here’s some basic algebra to help understand this complex wine: 5x = 100-1 and therefore x = 19.8, right? Wrong! X is the X factor here that a formula can’t explain. It’s like zeitgeist, or poltergeist, depending on what angle you look at it. You may have never heard of this Prisoner predecessor of the Old World but stylistically they could not be any closer. You are not going to find a better Italian under $50 to arrest the senses. Liquid handcuffs for the palate!
Black as asphalt, with glimmers of ruby, garnet and crimson shining through on the lip. Jammy and ripe on the nose, with just a kiss of earth and spice that enthralls, begging you to take a sip. At once savory and sweet, with blackberries, fig and currants, fresh and jammed galore defining the transformative palate experience. This coats the mouth with milk chocolate-y tannins and a creamy thick texture for long on the arresting finish. While a meal on its own, this will stand tall next to many hearty stews, curries or roasts.
The 5 in the equation is for “Cinque Autoctoni” or the “five indigenous” Italian varieties in a blend breaking all the rules of appellations by coming from Abruzzo the calf, and Puglia the heel. We warn you though, use both hands to lift and pour the bottle as it’s HEAVY and the wine inside is DENSE. The other side of the equation 100-1 = 99 points by Annuario dei Migliori Vini Italiani di Luca Maroni, aka “Italy’s Robert Parker” which by any means is no easy recognition to attain.
Experience this outlaw, it’s one of the most fascinating projects ever to come out of Italy! After all, we owe this wine to Hugh Johnson, one of the greatest wine writers of all time, as when his vision of a wine like this was realized by Fantini he wrote; “there’s everything in this wine! The warmth, the aromas, the flavors of southern Italy… millennia of winemaking tradition, that’s exactly what we were dreaming of!”
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
99 Points – Luca Maroni, The Best Italian Wines “One of the masterpieces of Italian winemaking. Edizione Cinque Autoctoni is an intense, fruit-driven wine made in a sweet, generous style with notable purity as well as depth of material. This bottling is a blend of five indigenous varieties; Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. It is made outside of any formal designation, and therefore labeled NV, but the lot number indicates the vintage.
What the Winery Says
2014 'Cinque Autoctoni' Edizione 16 Red Blend
- Rino Santeusanio
- 33% Montepulciano, 25% Sangiovese, 5% Malvasia Nera, 30% Primitivo, 7% Negroamaro
- Abruzzo & Puglia, Italy
- Colonnella,Ortona, Sava & San Marzano
- 160-820 feet above sea level
- Limestone, ”red earth”, calcareous
- Vine age
- 40-100 years
- 1.21-2.43 tons per acre
- 13 months in French barriques