Croatina is a Piedmontese-Lombardy grape variety that can basically provide the basis for excellent red wines and should be recommended to every wine drinker. The only problem is that you often don't know whether Croatina is really inside where it says Croatina on the label (Daniele Ricci's El Matt - this much can already be revealed - does not say Croatina on the label, but it is still inside). The nomenclature of the grape variety is such a crazy mixture of synonyms, homonyms and heteronyms that it is worth reproducing at least excerpts from Ian d'Agata's grape variety bible WINE GRAPES OF ITALY, which is recommended to all Italophile wine drinkers.
"Croatina is the name of a grape and also a wine. Croatina is the main variety used to make a DOC wine called Bonarda in Oltrepò Pavese of Lombardy but there is a Bonarda grape variety too (different than Croatina...) which is used to make a wine also called bonarda (but note the lower-case "b")... and then there is the matter of a particularly high-quality biotype of croatina, charmingly called Bonarda di Rovescala and also known as Bonarda Pignola. And let's not forget two other synonyms for Croatina, Nebbiolo di Gattinara and Spanna di Ghemme; you won't be surprised to know that the real-world famous Nebbiolo does grow in both the areas of Gattinara and Ghemme, where it is usually called Spanna, and that it has nothing to do with Croatina....
All clear? Daniele Ricci may have named his Croatina El Matt, meaning "the crazy one", precisely because of the terminological absurdities - we'll be asking him about this soon. El Matt is fermented and matured spontaneously in steel tanks and bottled unfiltered.
El Matt is one of those wines that you could drink down by the litre without a second thought. It has a not to be underestimated amount of tannin, but this is tamed by ripe fruit, a vital and dynamic structure and a juicy and compact consistency - all of which is excellent on its own, but also provides a multitude of culinary combination possibilities.
Grape variety: 100% Croatina
Vineyard: San Leto
Harvest: By hand
Fermentation: spontaneous | wild yeasts in steel tanks
Ageing: in steel tanks
SO₂: < 50mg/l
Alcohol content: 14.5 % vol
Closure: Natural cork
Drinking temperature: 15-17 °C
Perfect drinking maturity: from now - 2028
Content and price per litre: 0.75 l/(€17.37/l)
All the winegrowers listed on Vinonudo work with compost, organic fertiliser and natural preparations in their vineyards and do not use herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilisers.