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  Wine Producers Issue 47, December 2006   
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Castel de Paolis

In Grottaferrata, near Rome, after a long period of research and experimentation, Castel de Paolis is now one of the most important wineries of Latium

 Italian enology is living in the last twenty years a moment of renewal and splendor. After a very long time characterized by productions based on quantity - in which quality was a factor found in few viticultural contexts only - in every region of Italy can today be found remarkable quality productions. Regions and wine areas which were once scarcely considered, have been capable of proving their great potentials, revaluating the unique expression of every territory, of their grapes and wines. Among these regions certainly is found Latium, that in recent times has been successful in radically change the image of its wines and their quality, once simply considered as “ordinary”, have today become real “outsiders”. The job done in Latium is exemplar in many aspects, from the revaluation of local grapes to the introduction of new varieties, from the drastic change in the production techniques to the way of communicating wine to the world.


The entrance of Castel de Paolis winery
The entrance of Castel de Paolis winery

 Among the wineries which strongly contributed to the promotion of the image of wines from Latium there is Castel de Paolis, owned by the Santarelli family, which in few years has been capable to bring to the highest level the Frascati wine, one of the most famous wines of Castelli Romani. The winery takes its name from one of the most important fortresses for the control of Roman countrysides during Medieval times. Castel de Paolis fortress was built upon the ruins of a villa dated back to Roman times that, thanks to its strategic position, allowed the control of an ancient road connecting Rome to Castromoenium. In past times it was believed Castel de Paolis hill was the ancient site of Castromoenium, however recent studies have confirmed the ancient Roman colony corresponds to the present city of Marino. Also the lands in which today are found the vineyards of Castel de Paolis were crossed by a paved road connecting the Castrimense road to the Latina road.

 Castel de Paolis winery is located in the commune of Grottaferrata, few tens of kilometers away from Rome - in the Castelli Romani area and in the Denominazione d'Origine Controllata territory of Frascati - covers a total area of twelve hectares completely destined to the cultivation of vineyards. The winery is located in a hilly position at an altitude of 270 meters in soils of volcanic origin. The history of Castel de Paolis begins in 1985, when Giulio Santarelli, together with his wife Adriana Croce, rediscovers the passion of the art of making wine, a passion which will soon bring him to dedicate all of his time to the family winery. The fundamental event will take place in 1985, when Giulio Santarelli meets professor Attilio Scienza, of Milan University and at those times director of the prestigious Agricultural Institute of San Michele all'Adige. Professor Attilio Scienza, during a visit at Castel de Paolis, suggested Giulio Santarelli to resume in his vineyards the cultivation of the ancient autochthonous varieties which in past times were capable of making everywhere famous the wines of Castelli Romani, but unfortunately at those times were not as successful as they used to be.


Mr. and Mrs. Santarelli in their cellar
Mr. and Mrs. Santarelli in their cellar

 That was the beginning of a long and precious research and experimentation activity, during which were uprooted the Malvasia di Candia and Trebbiano Toscano vineyards of Castel de Paolis. They then proceeded with the search of the old vines of the area: Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio, Bombino Bianco, Cacchione, Bellone, Passerina, Pecorino, Grechetto and Romanesca, at those times rare in the vineyards of Castelli Romani. When they finally found the varieties, it was planted an experimental vineyard which gave good results. They then decided to extend the varieties of grapes with which make their experimentation, by using the international varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Sémillon, Pink Muscat, Golden Muscat, Roussanne, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The experimental phase - which ended in 1992 - has also led to the creation of a winery equipped with the most advanced technologies and in which were exclusively vinified the grapes coming from the experimental vineyards under the technical supervision of winemaker Lorenzo Peira.


 

 At the end of the experimental phase, Castel de Paolis winery was ready to let the results of this fundamental research activity meet the world, and catching since the very first moments a high interest from consumers and wine lovers. Wines belonging to the Frascati DOC and produced by Castel de Paolis were so impressive as to believe they belonged to another appellation: the new history of Frascati and the wines of Castelli Roman was just begun. A result - which is still today one of the most interesting in Latium - obtained by joining tradition and innovation in the essential and fundamental role of experimentation, while proving that, given favorable conditions and right viticultural practices, it is possible to keep and improve the enological tradition of a territory. The cellar was supervised up to 2003 by winemaker Franco Bernabei, whereas today it is led by winemaker Carlo Corino.

 The vineyards of Castel de Paolis winery are cultivated according to the principles of organic agriculture, with a density of 5,500 plants per hectare and each vine providing a maximum of 1.5 kilograms of grapes. Wines are currently exported in the United States of America, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, France and Switzerland. The production is based both on white and red wines, completed by the interesting sweet wines Rosathea, produced with Pink Muscat, Frascati Cannellino and Muffa Nobile, produced with Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The production of white wines is composed of Frascati Superiore DOC, Campovecchio Bianco, Vigna Adriana - one of the flagship wines of Castel de Paolis and produced with Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc - and Selve Vecchie, produced with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The production of red wines is composed by Campovecchio Rosso - produced with Syrah, Cesanese d'Affile, Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes - and I Quattro Mori, produced with Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes, aged for 18 months in barrique.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Campovecchio Bianco 2005, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Campovecchio Bianco 2005
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Malvasia del Lazio, Bellone, Romanesca, Bonvino, Passerina, Grechetto, Trebbiano Giallo
Price: € 7.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Campovecchio Bianco shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of pear, apple and hawthorn followed by aromas of broom, pineapple, peach and plum. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, pear and pineapple. Campovecchio Bianco ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Fried fish, Pasta and risotto with vegetables and fish, Sauteed fish



Frascati Superiore 2005, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Frascati Superiore 2005
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano, Bonvino, Pecorino, Cacchione, Grechetto, Passerina
Price: € 10.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Frascati Superiore shows a pale golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of plum, apple and pear followed by aromas of hawthorn, pineapple, almond and acacia. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, pear and pineapple. This Frascati Superiore ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Pasta with meat and fish, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish



Campovecchio Rosso 2003, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Campovecchio Rosso 2003
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Syrah (50%), Cesanese d'Affile (20%), Montepulciano (20%), Sangiovese (10%)
Price: € 11.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of black cherry, plum and blueberry followed by aromas of black currant, violet, vanilla, tobacco and pink pepper. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and black cherry. The Syrah used for Campovecchio Rosso ages for 18 months in barrique, whereas the other grapes ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Stewed meat, Broiled meat and barbecue



Vigna Adriana 2005, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Vigna Adriana 2005
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Malvasia Puntinata, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 16.00 Score:
Vigna Adriana shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of pear, apple and peach followed by aromas of pineapple, hawthorn, broom, gooseberry, plum and mineral. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, apple and peach. Vigna Adriana ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Pasta with mushrooms and fish, Fried fish, Stewed fish, Sauteed white meat



I Quattro Mori 2003, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
I Quattro Mori 2003
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Syrah (65%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Petit Verdot (5%)
Price: € 27.00 Score:
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of prune and black cherry followed by aromas of black currant, blueberry, vanilla, tamarind, tobacco, cinnamon, chocolate, mace and eucalyptus. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of prune and black cherry. I Quattro Mori ages for 18 months in barrique.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat



Muffa Nobile 2005, Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Muffa Nobile 2005
Castel de Paolis (Latium, Italy)
Grapes: Sémillon (80%), Sauvignon Blanc (20%)
Price: € 20.00 - 50cl Score:
The wine shows an intense amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of dried apricot, date and raisin followed by aromas of peach jam, honey, quince jam, dried fig and almond. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of raisin, dried apricot and honey. Muffa Nobile is produced with grapes completely affected by Botrytis Cinerea.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, Desserts



Castel de Paolis - Via Val de Paolis, Grottaferrata, Roma (Italy) - Tel. +39 6 9413648 Fax: +39 6 94316026 - Winemaker: Carlo Corino - Established: 1985 - Production: 90.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@casteldepaolis.it - WEB: www.casteldepaolis.it


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  Wine Producers Issue 47, December 2006   
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