Keep Wines Cieliegiolo - What it means to be glou glou
Usually when I write about a varietal that is just so damn awesome that you just have to go out and find it, then try it, then go out and get more of it, there are a few winemakers who try their hand at crafting such an awesome wine. Sometimes though, there is just one winemaker (or in this case pair of winemakers) who are brave enough to try their hand at making a wine that is just so obscure, so weird, so wild, and so wonderful, you wonder how it even exists at all.
So I am breaking my own tradition here by doing a bottle review. Screw traditions. I'm just going to go out and say that you have to get your hands on some Cieliegiolo from Keep Wines. Here's why...
The name means "little cherry"
The name Cilieogiolo means "little cherry" in Italian, and its long been a bit part player in Chianti blends but is experiencing something of a resurgence. It can make for some pretty easy drinking, light bodied red wines, but also some heftier red wines as well. For something that is so rare in its native Italy, you would never think that somewhere in California there was a vineyard growing it as well as a winery working with it. To call this grape obscure seems to be an understatement of how rare and awesome this grape is though. Awesome enough to find its way into the hands of Jack Roberts and Johanna of Keep Wines, who have turned it into one of the most awesome wines out there!
Ticking all the boxes
What drew me to The Keep Wines from the get-go is that they tick all the boxes of a modern, natural wine lover. Unfined and unfiltered, native years fermentation, cool looking winemakers, inspired by old-school methods, and dope labels on the bottles. All systems were "go" for me to pick it up and try it, and I am so glad I did. The Keep Wines Ciliegiolo is super crushable. It has a light body, lower alcohols, and a real brightness to it that make it a real "Vin de soif." The natural process that the winemakers bestow upon these grapes adds something a little bit funky to it though, yes it tastes like a cherry bomb, but it's not overly ripe. There is is still something rustic, down to earth, and honest about this wine that gives it a perfect balance. This is a wine you can cherish, both as something that can grow in stature and character over time, but also something that you can drink the fuck out of right now and enjoy it to its fullest.
What it means for a wine to be glou glou
If you ever wondered what glou glou means, this wine will show you why. In fact, this wine is tres glou glou. When I opened the bottle this bouquet of cherries seemed to waft up and hit me right in the face. My heart was racing, my mouth was watering, and I knew that this was something truly special just waiting for me in the bottle. The aromas just got better as I poured it into a glass and gave it one big, nay, massive sniff. Cherries, strawberries, all that Springtime goodness. Lightly chilled this wine goes down a real treat, giving you something that is refreshing even on a hot evening. I enjoyed quaffing this wine by myself after work, but I also had a good time sharing it with a friend over some light-hearted chit-chat. It never gets in the way, but this wine definitely set the mood of having fun, laughing, and helping us unwind. It's not a super serious wine, so should we be super serious when we enjoy it? Ah, how good it is to drink amazing wine without giving two shits about whether we taste every single note in it.
Drinking this wine was electric. I had no idea what to expect but there were a zip and a spark from the bright acidity. It had me thinking of an old MGMT song. I said ooh girl, this wine was shocking me like an electric eel. This wine had a real electric feel with voltage running through my skin.
For me, the Keep Wines Ciliegiolo is one of those wines that is a hero for us modern wine drinkers. It is something we can share with our friends and fits in with our carefree lifestyle. It's not overly complicated, and its super fun to drink, but to drink it is a unique and amazing experience unto itself. It could be something that you drink on a rare occasion, or it could be something you geek out about, something you just can't get enough of, waiting anxiously for its next release. Wherever it finds its place in your life, it's a wine you are sure to fall in love with, from a winery you are sure to fall in love with.