I personally love the wines from the northern part of Italy, more especially those from Piedmont, Val d’Aosta and Friuli. Growing mainly on slopes, more or less high, on the foothills of the Alps, the wines produced there present great minerality and enhancing acidity, conferring the resulting wines a lot of appeal, depth, brightness and complexity, without being heavy or too full. Often age worthy, these wines whether white, red or rosé are usually very attractive, earthy, focus and inviting.
Yet, there is another region in Italy that I love. No it is not Tuscany, although I appreciate it a great deal, I prefer Campania. The volcanic soil of this wonderful sunbathed region of the southwestern Italy confers to its wines great complexity, minerality and earthiness, which are very-difficult-to-dislike features (especially in wines).
Lately, I cannot praise enough the fact that my favorite rosé of the moment is:
2009 Feudi di San Gregorio Ros’Aura Rosato Campania Italy
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported by Palm Bay in NYC
Made from 100% hand-harvested Aglianico grapes coming from10-20 year old vines grown between at 1,000 - 1,650 ft above sea level around the communes of Taurasi, Pietradefusi, Castelvetere and Paternopoli in Campania. Planted in deep soil with moderately large grains originally from ash and fallen pumice. After de-stemming, free-run juice underwent a 12-hour maceration on the skins followed by a temperature controlled fermentation stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine is stunning.
The 2009 Feudi di San Gregorio Ros'Aura Rosato was a revelation and a very enjoyable surprise, surely one of the most inspiring Rosé(s) I tried this year so far. It has an attractive, intense and fairly deep colorful rose color. The nose is inviting with ripe, candied wild red berries and cherry fruits intermingled with earthy and mineral notes. The palate is medium bodied with great minerality enhanced by fresh and lively acidity with notes of freshly crushed wild berries on the lingering finish. Neither to dry neither to full, and definitely not sweet but rather full of mineral with juicy acidity and a great way of coating the palate, this is a very versatile and definitely food friendly wine. Great on its own, it will be perfect as an aperitif and delicious with chicken and turkey entrées, fish and grilled vegetables.
Feudi di San Gregorio is surely one of my favorite wineries of Campania and I’ve always enjoyed their wines (read my previous post on Feudi di San Gregorio at www.ledomduvin.com/2010/05/2008-feudi-di-san-gregorio-falanghina.html). Yet, Terredora di Paolo that I discovered more recently is equally good and interesting. Both made me come to the conclusion that my palate is indeed very inclined to Campania’s wines, more especially the whites.
As I am writing, I’m enjoying a few glasses of the younger sibling of the 1995 Taurasi that I described in a previous post: 2003 Terredora Dipaolo Taurasi DOCG Campania Italia.
Located in Montfusco, a village north of Avellino, Terredora is a continuation of the ancient story of Campania, its people and their passion for their land and their winemaking.
TERREDORA has been on the forefront of the wine renaissance in Campania since 1978. Today, with more than 150 hectares of vineyard land, Terredora is Campania’s largest wine producer and vineyard owner, with a worldwide reputation for the quality of its wines. Their commitment to excellence was proven in 1994 when they decided to vinify their own grapes. This decision was prompted by their belief that great wine comes from the balance of natural resources: terrain, varieties used, climate and man’s ability to work with nature.
2003 Terredora Di Paolo Taurasi DOCG Campania Italia
Suggesting retail price $34-$38
Imported/distributed by VIAS in NYC
Made from 100 % Aglianico grape variety, from vineyards in Lapio and Montemiletto, carefully selected and hand-harvested, the Terredora Dipaolo Taurasi was aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months. After blending the maturation continues in 35 hl oak barrels for 12 months and then in bottle for a further 8-12 months before release.
The 2003 vintage was unusually hot across the board in Europe, and I have always been a skeptic regarding how long some of these 2003(s) will last and take to integrate, and more especially how will they taste. After tasting many 2003 vintage wines from many European countries, I can say firmly that I’m not a fan of this vintage for sure.
In fact, due to a certain ripeness (or even over ripeness) and lack of acidity and harmony and even structure, resulting in heavier-than-usual fruit forward mouthfeel for quite a lot of wines from Bordeaux and Ribera del Duero to Greece, some of these wines were not great. They didn’t necessarily reflect their Terroir and region of origin for most of them. Moreover, that over ripeness with high alcohol content and unharmonious, slightly disjointed profile didn’t help for the sales. New world riper style of wine drinkers probably found them more to their taste, but, in my opinion, most 2003 wines had nothing to do with their usual selves in better or regular vintages.
Although not as good as the previously tasted 1995 vintage, the 2003 Terredora Dipaolo Taurasi DOCG Campania is a good, fruit forward wine that is ready now and not surprisingly don’t even need decanting. It has a medium to deep garnet color with slightly orange brick reflects. So far nothing too unusual! The nose is quite strong and aromatics with warm, ripe dark fruit and plum intermingled with earth, underbrush, spicy and woody notes, and hints of alcohol. Secondary and tertiary aromas are also appearing, a sign of premature ageing that is not wanted, but not unusual for this particular vintage (like most European 2003(s). The palate is ultra ripe with dark ripe fruit and berries, plums, dark spicy chocolate, earthy cider wood and pepper. The attack is quite full and expanding with oak and slight burnt touches. The finish is quite dry, a bit short some will say, with mixed slightly astringent and ripe tannins (in the same time) that appear a touch bitter (which not surprising either for this vintage).
Overall, even if not my style, the wine is not that bad, just a bit too typical from the 2003 vintage for my taste buds. But don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly drinkable and enjoyable and definitely remains a good earthy Aglianico (with a bit more scorched fruit than usual, granted!). On its own just now as I’m writing, it is warm, earthy and chocolaty and somewhat inspiring.
Fortunately, Terredora Di Paolo makes tremendous wines, and as I always say: a good winemaker will always make good wines good year bad year. Of course, it is often difficult to predict hazardous weather and other climatic conditions, like those of 2003.
We just bought (for the store) 3 wines from Terredora di Paolo, which are tremendous examples of the quality that this winery constantly achieves. The leading example is their benchmark Falanghina, which is a very versatile and inviting white to enjoy at any moment. The second wine is their Greco di Tufo, which is quite outstanding in most vintages.
However, the wine that I will describe last, is:
2008 Terredora di Paolo Aglianico Campania IGT Italy
Suggested retail price $13-$16
Imported by VIAS in NYC
The maceration of the grapes, at 24-25°C, does not exceed 7 days in order to obtain an excellent extraction of color without creating a heavy tannic structure. Aged in wood and stainless steel tanks, this wine succeeded to maintain great aromatic and freshness with complexity and depth that makes it an attractive ready to drink young wine.
The 2008 Terredora di Paolo Aglianico Campania IGT has a fairly dense ruby-purple red color with slight garnet reflects. The nose has bright dark cherry and ripe red cherry aromas with spicy and earth notes topped by violet scents and a slight gamey character. The balanced and Terroir oriented palate is forward, gentle and earthy with dark berry flavors and soft subtle oak characters mixed spicy hints, enhanced by excellent acidity. The lingering earthy finish is delightful and juicy, with a slight tannic touch that will integrate with a bit of time. Overall, it is a very nicely crafted wine and I liked it a lot.
The 2007 vintage was already quite nice; the 2008 seems slightly fruitier or juicier with good acidity and enjoyable harmony. Pair it traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes including "charcuterie", soups and pasta dishes, lasagna, white meats and light main courses.
LeDom du Vin
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