Centesimino (Red Sauvignon) wine guide
Centesimino is the native red grape variety of the Faenza hills, in the province of Ravenna. Its history is fascinating.
Due to its aromatic affinity with Sauvignon Blanc, it has always been called Red Sauvignon, a term that the old Faenza farmers still use, creating confusion for those who are not aware of the history of the grape.
History of the Centesimino grape
Due to the Phylloxera, it has come very close to extinction, indeed it had by now been completely forgotten and considered missing, when, in the middle of the last century, Pietro Pianori, nicknamed the Centesimino, enters the scene.
He found surviving slips in the gardens of a building in the center of Faenza: the high walls that surrounded the garden had saved Centesimino from the scourge.
From that moment Pietro began to replant Centesimino vineyards on the land of Santa Lucia, a small hilly hamlet just outside Faenza, in the center of which we find the splendid medieval tower of Oriolo dei Fichi.
The production area to this day is limited only and exclusively to a few hectares in the Faenza hills.
Centesimino style and vinification
Today the Centesimino is produced by a small circle of wineries, which have come together in a protection consortium. There are three versions: a vintage wine to be drunk young, aged in wood and the passito.
If the dry versions are pleasant and comforting, the Centesimino passito is a true work of art, a delight of ripe fruit, chocolate, spices and withered flowers that intertwine creating an arabesque texture, where the tannins still keep the wine lively and darting. A warm embrace in which to let yourself go: true meditation wine.
Organoleptic characteristics of Centesimino (red Sauvignon)
Centesimino is a very fragrant wine, (not for nothing it was also called red Sauvignon!) With a bouquet rich in floral hints, red fruit jam and spices.
The bouquet is very rich, with round and pulpy fruit: cherries in alcohol, pomegranate, wild strawberries and endless roses that alternate, making the wine very fascinating and easily recognizable.
On the palate, it is warm, ample, with contained freshness and lively but soft tannins.
The latest ampelographic research has confirmed that Centesimino has no relationship with Sauvignon Blanc, indeed it seems that it is a biotype of the Aleatico Faentino grape. It seems our friend never left home.
Serving temperature of Centesimino
For young bottles, opt for 14-16 degrees. Do not mortify a Centesimino aged or aged in wood with high temperatures, its main feature is the sumptuousness of the bouquet: even 18-20 degrees can go. The passito should be served at 8-10 degrees.
Centesimino Food Pairings
The Centesimino is excellent for grilling, gnocchi with meat sauce, chicken curry, spare ribs with barbecue sauce, baked lasagna, truffle risotto, pulled pork, Argentine meat empanadas, burgers. The apex is reached by combining chocolate and Centesimino passito. Among all the sweet red wines it is one of the most suitable for taming desserts and chocolate cakes.