Domaine Danilo Thomain Enfer d’Arvier Vallee d’Aosta Petit Rouge 2019
|Available in store:||Check availability|
Located in the shadow of Mont Blanc in far Northwest above the Piedmont, this is one of the smallest D.O.s in Italy at around 5 hectare and Danilo owns a little over 1 hectare of that centered in the town of Arvier. It’s located in an amphitheatre that shoots straight up from a small stream and collects what little heat they get in the summer months. Thomain’s Enfer d’Arvier is perhaps the most jubilant, tension-laden red wine that Rosenthal imports from the Valle d’Aosta. Produced entirely from the indigenous Petit Rouge grape, it’s a homemade wine in every sense of the word: these brutally steep terraces must be worked manually; grapes are hand-harvested, carried just down the road to Danilo’s house, and the wine is made right there—fermented spontaneously, and aged in non-temperature-stabilized steel tanks in his basement two stories below the earth’s surface. The just-arrived 2018 pours a deep, black red—a gorgeous, menacing sanguine color. The nose is exuberant, brimming with black cherries, sun-drenched stones, tiny mountain flowers, and a touch of the sauvage. The huge diurnal shifts between Enfer d’Arvier’s scorching days and chilly nights expresses itself in a palate tug-of-war between rapier-like acidity and thick, luscious fruit that vibrates with energy.