Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Can’t have Two without Three---My Search for My Campania White continues…

My quest for my Campania white at Vinitaly led me to Pavilion 7. To Feudi di San Gregorio. To my friend, Alessandro Palmieri. My first appointment on Friday, April 9th. A crucial one because I really needed wine tasting guidance to get me through the rest of the fair. I had to skip a sommelier lesson to get to Vinitaly on time, and Alessandro (Ale), besides being the area manager for Feudi, is also a professional sommelier. Perfect man for the job.

The big names in Campania whites are three- Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo. As the wines were being poured, Ale began to discuss aromas…aromas in general, comparing the intensity to that of roses, from a single rose to a full bouquet. An excellent simile for aroma intensity. Complexity? A bouquet with roses, daisies, etc.

Three glasses in front of us. 2009 vintage. New labels designed by Massimo Vignelli.

a) Serrocielo 2009 Falanghina Sannio DOC

b) Cutizzi 2009 Greco di Tufo DOCG

c) Pietracalda 2009 Fiano di Avellino DOCG

Alessandro had a motive for the wines being served in this order. I was curious…

Falanghina, Ale explained, has a high level of intense aromas, the aromas arrive subito. So Falanghina…white fruit, apples, pears, white flowers, herbs. Intensità

Greco di Tufo, on the other hand, was not as intense, but more complex aromas. Greco di Tufo…less intense, but here we have aromatic herbs such as mint, thyme, green pears.

Let’s try the Fiano di Avellino…sweeter, fruity aromas, however this time yellow fruits like apricots, honey, aromas that evolve in time, nuts (classic of Avellino),

Time to taste.

Falanghina-freshness, piacere. We just taste the best grapes…no need to force the flavor of the grape. Only stainless steel vats, no time in wood.

Fiano di AVellino-smoother, rounder, dry. . Ha ancora a dare…In other words, Ale feels that a Fiano di Avellino will become smoother with a little time in respect to the other two whites on the table. It’s ready to drink now, but will explode with time.

Greco di Tufo-minerals…acidity…complex.

My favorite of this sitting…Falanghina: I was a little surprised because I am a Fiano Fan. Maybe it was aromas, maybe for the type of Falanghina, from Sannio, which I was beginning to note the differences between this grape and other Falanghina from Campi Flegrei or Irpinia.

Time to move on…

Around 5 in the afternoon, I was invited by American wine writer/photographer Tom Hyland to join him and fellow blogger Kyle Phillips to taste Mastroberardino’s new arrivals. Pavilion 6, E3. Couldn’t say no.

The big three were represented proudly here as well…Morabianca 2009 DOC Falanghina Irpinia, Radici 2009 DOCG Fiano di Avellino, and Nova Serra 2009 DOCG Greco di Tufo. I remembered my earlier lesson and was able to note on my own the particulars of these three whites. Here though, the Falanghina was a bit different as it is grown in a different part of Campania, different soil conditions…great to witness how these differences are expressed in a wine.

The white that I enjoyed at this sitting, however, was a new line getting its world premiere at this wine fair. Greco di Tufo 2002 Vintage. Only 3000 bottles of this white which was bottled in 2003 and left to rest until now….I’m getting to like Greco…

Saturday arrived. My last day at the fair and I was determined to get to Luigi Moio, to his Quintodecimo, to his whites. Luigi Moio, Professor Moio, is a grande wine maker in Campania. I was excited to taste his big three. I first tried Via Del Campo 2008 IGT Falanghina. Once again, my love affair with aromas played big here. I could even taste a little sweetness at the end which I soon learned was due to a later harvest. Next, Exultet 2008 DOCG Fiano di Avellino. I enjoyed the fruit flavors as well as the wine’s color. And speaking of color, Giallo D’arles 2008 DOCG Greco di Tufo…beautiful golden color. In fact, the wine is named after the beautiful colors of a Van Gogh painting…really getting to like Greco.

Have I found my white? Not sure…still looking…

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