Colli di Catone

Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Lazio
People: Antonio & Fulvia Pulcini


Colli di Catone 2021 Frascati Superiore Login In Stock
Colli di Catone 2022 Frascati Superiore Login On Order

Lazio is often known for the Frascati DOCG and its elusive winemakers, Prince Boncompagni Ludovisi from Tenuta di Fiorano (The Prince in His Cave) and Antonio Pulcini of Colli di Catone.

Antonio took over the estate in 1974, but it has been in his family for at least 6 generations. The winery is in an ancient villa overlooking Rome, whose 2000-year-old, catacomb-like cellar features a 300 A.D. Christian altar. The villa itself once belonged to the sister of Trajan—the Roman Emperor in the century after Christ’s death. In the 1940s it housed Orson Welles and Tyrone Power when they were filming on location in Rome. More relevantly, the villa is surrounded by vineyards planted on southwest-facing slopes of volcanic tufa soils; sites rich in minerals and prized by the ancient Romans.

The wines of Rome’s southern hills had once ranked among the finest in Italy. Pulcini aimed to craft wines that honored that history by focusing on indigenous white varieties that once made the region famous. And so, over 30 years ago, he tore out most of his modern Trebbiano and Malvasia di Candia, and today focuses on the ancient varieties, Malvasia del Lazio (a/k/a Malvasia Puntinata) and Grechetto (a/k/a Greco Bianco). Malvasia del Lazio was long recognized as the region’s greatest historic variety; cherished for its wines’ minerality and ageability. Grechetto—unrelated to the Umbrian variety of the same name—was also prized for its minerality and lemony zing. Pulcini's fastidious viticulture and famously low yields—less than half the legal limit at an impressive 20 hectoliter per hectare—ensure this DOCG's often frivolous whites to have superb character and minerality.

Pulcini's top wine, Colle Gaio from the vineyard of the same name, has fermentations that can last up to four months. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks for three to four years before bottling and then for additional years and sometimes decades in the cellars covered by sand, before Pulcini decides they are ready to be released. Though superbly balanced and boasting a wondrous acid spine, the most exciting trait of Pulcini’s Colle Gaio is the minerality and otherworldly tertiary aromas that he coaxes from this noble terroir. While one vintage may be Riesling-like in its complexity, another may resemble Chablis in its minerality. Another vintage may exude orange marmalade, while another intrigues with its intense scent of gun smoke.

Pulcini almost exclusively sells his wines locally, so we are very proud to have a selection of his bottlings in our portfolio.