door | 10 aug 2021 | Internationaal

  “The Tuscan archipelago is an earthly paradise that boasts the isle of Gorgona, the Pearl of Aphrodite, at once wild and luminescent. Overcome its seeming hostility and you are seduced by its scents and silences, by a nature that moves one with its life-force, with its eternal youthfulness… And all around you, water and salt, reflecting messages from the skies, tensing the sail-ropes.” -Andrea Bocelli, 2014

The Gorgona project was launched in August 2012, fruit of a collaboration between Frescobaldi and Gorgona, Europe’s only remaining island-penitentiary. The inmates spend the final period of their detention here, working and living in contact with nature, creating for themselves a professional means of re-joining the workforce and the community at large. The project took root in a small vineyard lying in the heart of an amphitheatre high over the sea; its goal was to enable the inmates to gain personal, hands-on, professional experience in the field of viticulture under the supervision of Frescobaldi agronomists and winemakers.

A few rows organically-farmed Sangiovese and Vermentino Nero yielded Gorgona Rosso, which matured in large terracotta jars and debuted in its 2015 vintage. With additional plantings in 2015, that vineyard has grown today to two hectares of Vermentino and Ansonica, which now produce Gorgona, the perfect expression of the uniqueness of this corner of earth and the work of man, and eloquent symbol of hope and freedom.

GORGONA BIANCO 2020 – Costa Toscana Bianco IGT   Gorgona’s front label aspires to be a “limited edition” newsletter that communicates a different aspect of the island, each vintage telling the story of a different aspect of this unique place. Stepping onto Gorgona means immediately discovering an utterly distinctive biodiversity with a dense Mediterranean scrub and an uncontaminated sea, but fortifications stud the landscape as well, testimony to past civilisations, and a small church that Cistercian monks built in the 18th century and dedicated to San Gorgonio.   The Gorgona 2020 label tells us about the fortress and various towers on the island. On the steep, craggy western coast, 200 metres above the sea, rises the Torre Vecchia, a massive Pisan fortress, or stronghold, sheathed in local stone and built between the 11th and 13th centuries. Now in ruins, it once guarded the stretch of the Mediterranean facing Corsica and protected the monks from frequent pirate attacks. On the opposite side of the island, facing mainland Italy, lies Cala dello Scalo, a fishing port dominated by the Torre Nuova, a fort erected by the Medici in the 17th century to complete the island’s defensive perimeter. Finally, the island also boasts two towers built of reddish stone constructed in the late 19th century to track activities on the mainland. Rising near the edge of the pine wood, near the vineyards, is the Torre dell’Orologio, named after the sundial it bears, and, looking towards Cala Scirocco, is Torre Garibaldi.   The 2020 growing year on Gorgona started off with frequent rains, but temperatures were never excessive, thanks to constant sea breezes. As usual on this island, the vines started their growing-cycle early, budding out in the first week n March. A rather enjoyable spring of mild, sunny days encouraged vine development, followed by a somewhat cooler than normal summer. Temperatures rose starting in late July, but the island’s unique, sea-tempered climate, plus some isolated showers, ensured that the clusters were in perfect shape by harvest. An equally sun-blest, but well-ventilated September bought excellent levels of polyphenols, along with intense, elegant aromatic complexes.      Gorgona 2020 exhibits a gorgeous Mediterranean radiance, reflecting the warmth of the sun that caresses the island and the crispness of the unceasing sea breezes. It appears a deep straw yellow with gold highlights. Its bouquet is an elegant marriage between classic Mediterranean florality and fruit, with pungent scrub notes of cistus, curry plant, lentisk, and juniper melding into broom and hawthorn blossom. They are  flanked by fragrant impressions of tropical fruit such as pineapple and passion fruit, lifted by citrussy notes of bergamot. On the palate, it exhibits superb tangy fruit and a crisp acidity that duet together in splendid harmony, an equilibrium that finds an intriguing foil in the initial smooth mouthfeel and in the extreme grace through the entire progression. As with previous vintages of Gorgona, the 2020 marks another impressive chapter in the history of this wine. Those who savour it will be tasting the delights of a story that only this small great island can testify to.  
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