Just inland from Abruzzo, Molise is an area of Italy that even most Italians have never heard of!
Isernia, where L’Arco Antico is located, is the most inland area of Molise and it was an important religious center in medioeval times (St.Vincenzo al Volturno was probably the most famous monastery at the time in all Europe). Molise is second smallest region in Italy, the youngest (recognised in the ’80s) and the least densely populated. So untouched is Molise that UNESCO has chosen it for two of its four Italian biosphere locations.
L’Arco Antico (“The Ancient Arch”) farm was founded in 1865 when a local family took over the land that once belonged to the nearby monastery. The current owner Alessandro Melone still complains that every time they start digging for whatever reason they find historical remains. The first vineyard was planted in 1890. Alessandro is an agronomist who decided the land he inherited was going to produce wines of the highest quality from the original grapes of the area.
“Ferraro” is a natural, unfiltered wine – no winemaker intervention in the whole process. (As opposed to the awful “natural wine” where they mess with it a lot trying to remove the naturally occurring anti-oxidant and disinfecting sulphur.)
This blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico (80/20) is aged for at least 12 months in oak barriques followed by 36 months in bottle. Powerful, tannic and with great balance; lovely structure and flavours that defy the price tag.
David and Alice came across this when they met up with old friend Dario in London. It is stunning and they were stunned. A few days later it was on the shelf in Shaftesbury.