Tag Archives: Avellino

Not what you think (Avellino, Italy)

One of the many things I’ve learnt on my journey has been to not make assumptions about things, wine or otherwise, the best thing is not listen to white noise or demons and angels on shoulders. This is one major reason I prefer to ignore a lot of wine critics and marketing hype as they can tend to cloud my judgement and enjoyment of things, in essence by not reading ‘professional’ assessment of wines or wineries, nor by reading much on wineries’ websites. What I have preferred to do is to visit a winery and establish my own impression and feel for the philosophy, approach and practices and then determine what I feel is important and good about the winery whilst avoiding the negative and generally unimportant things. A perfect example of an assumption I made was about the region of Campania, which I didn’t have the chance to visit when I was here previously, simply passing through from Puglia on the way to Sicilia when I stopped for a night in Napoli before boarding the ferry to Palermo. Not unlike every other region in Italy Campania has it’s own wine history, traditions, grape varieties and styles which it is deservedly proud of, but I was very wrong in my generalisation of this region as being warm and Mediterranean like much of southern-Europe. In fact it has a more continental climate thanks to the elevations and weather patterns provided by the mountains so close to the coast. On the only occasion that I had to visit wineries in Campania I chose to do so in Avellino which according to Jacopo Cossater is where some of the best white wines of the south come from, and I met with the two largest and most important representatives of the entire Campania region; Feudi di San Gregorio and Mastroberardino.
A model of the only thing to survive the 1980 earthquake in a nearby village, the abbey

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Feudi di San Gregorio – 17/01/2013

Serrocielo Falanghina 2011
Lovely and bright, very fresh and aromatic, classic citrus and tropical melon fruits, clean and fruity. Balanced bright fresh and pure, light bodied and fresh, good minerality, straight-forward and approachable.

Pietracalda Fiano di Avellino 2011
More closed and less fruity, slightly more floral elements, honeyed lavender and musk, more seashell influence, a little iodine. More intense and full on the palate, textural and expressive, denser and longer on the palate, more complexity, warmer and more orchard fruit than citrus or tropical notes.

Cutizzi Greco di Tufo 2011
More basalt and dark minerality, rich ripe red citrus notes, ruby grapefruit and elderberry. Slightly wilder and almost earthier in nature, stone and orchard fruits, denser and masculine, a lot of dark minerality and some warmth and volume as well.

Aglianico dal Re 2010
Nice and dark, slightly dusty, fresh blackberries, some . Quite intense and tight, plenty of drive and focus but a little tight, not enough softness. Nice and light and approachable, fresh and clean. A tad green and undercooked.

Piano di Monte Vergine Taurasi 2007
Certainly more oaky and dark, reflections of the modern style but not too obvious, has had plenty of time in bottle to soften out the edges, need to see more aglianico to know if this is the right expression. Core of sweet dark concentrated fruit, bold and full but relatively soft and velvety, a touch sharp and also warm, intense and a little fiery, but good tannins and some sharpness. Not the style I would go for though.

Serpico 2008 (Irpinia Aglianico)
Tight and closed, intense but also brooding and shy, better integration of oak but somewhat muted fruit. Soft farily light but intense and fresh, not sweet or syrupy, quite intense warm and sharp focused tannins, long but good finish. More interesting and characterful than the previous wine, perhaps thanks to vintage.

Basilisco Aglianico del Vulture 2006
Very stinky rustic, possibly suffering some faults, bottle fault or wine fault?

Basilisco Aglianino del Vulture 2007
Not much better to be honest. Rustic and wild, sharp tannins, quite different and unique. Not bad as much as hard for many to understand and appreciate, and easy for people to say it is fantastic as it is so undeniably rustic and old-world.

Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo

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Mastroberardino – 17/01/2013

Morabianca Irpinia Falanghina 2011
Citrus mineral freshness, bright juicy and a little salty, a little floral with also some tight tropical notes. Lovely balance, wonderful freshness, full of life and character but also exceptionally easy-drinking friendly and approachable. Nice lines with a small hint of musk.

Radici Fiano di Avellino 2011
Much more oily and stone fruit aroma, quite mineralic and almost kerosene-like, Lovely and fresh, a little fuller and longer on the palate, deeper fruit, tighter and very focused, wonderfully balanced, nice density and viscosity but not cloying.

Nova Serra Greco di Tufo 2011
Denser orchard fruits, darker deeper florals, more clay derived earthiness, The most dense and concentrated, very powerful but also subtle expression of fruit, builds wonderfully on the palate, structured and earthy, mineral texture and complexity.

Lacrimarosa 2011
Nice clean fresh red fruits, cherry strawberry. A little fruit sweetness to keep things pleasant, but nice and dry with a very slight savoury edge, a slightly creamy finish.

Radici Taurasi 2007 (Aglianico)
Very dense dark and a little smoky, round ripe rubbery, slightly oaky. Soft intense tight focused tannins, bold and powerful expression but still plenty of freshness and well integrated oak. Wonderful balance, focus and drive, expressive and fresh now with plenty of ageing potential. Lot’s of tannin.

Radici Taurasi Riserva 1998
Wonderfully bright and fresh with fruit for a wine of this age, subtly rustic in a very complex integrated way, showing some lovely bottle-aged characters as well. Amazingly focused yet complex, balanced soft yet intense and full of character, gentle supple and velvety tannins, amazing length and elegance. Lively and plenty of acid to keep things all integrated.


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