Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fior D'Uva...Into the Glass...Into the Territory...

Sorrento in December is spectacular. The streets are decorated with Christmas lights…window shopping is a must, and this past weekend, the Hilton Sorrento Palace hosted a vertical wine tasting that was not to miss…From the Pompeii room on the second floor, with an amazing view of the coast, I found a seat in the front row.


The winery-Marisa Cuomo...located in Fuore (Sa). Andrea Ferraioli brought with him 1 wine... 6 vintages. 6 years of Marisa Cuomo's beloved Fior D'Uva 2000-2005. Wines to observe, breathe in, taste, and discuss. As beautiful images of the vineyards and cantina were displayed in the background, Andrea shared the background of this wine, which is now made with 3 grape varieties; fenile, ginestra, and ripoli. These grapes that grow in a rocky chalky soil, and are kissed by the salty sea breezes of the coast. Three grapes that produce a wine that has won numerous awards and recognition. This wine that would play part in a wine tasting that, on this particular day, would be led by the delegate of Ais Sorrento Peninsula Giannantonio Aiuolo, Ais Campania President Nicoletta Garguilo, and Luca Gardini who was recently voted the Best Sommelier in the World.


I strongly believe that each wine tasting is an opportunity to learn…to grow. Here was a big opportunity…


So we began. A trip that would take us through 6 years of Fior D’Uva…We started with the 2005 vintage and made our way to 2000 with each sommelier alternating between vintages. As each wine was poured, it was hard not to notice the beautiful straw yellow color in each glass. As we tried the 2005 with Giannantonio Aiuolo, together we swirled our glasses, observed the narrow arcs that formed and the tears that slowly rolled down the inside.


Nose to the glass...each glass presented its own gift of aromas; intense, fruity, herbal, mineral, aromas of the sea, nutty...Luca Gardini held my attention as he performed the olfactory examination. As he approached my table, set his glass down and concentrated on the wine. He carefully, but effortlessly choose the words to describe it. Language that was easy to follow…easy to understand. I appreciated that. He helped us to note the exotic fruit aromas in the 2003 vintage and pointed out the complexities. And when he tasted...he shared how it was creamy, round, full. How you could practically chew this wine...how it really spoke for the territory.


Nicoletta Garguilo presented the 2004 vintage in her style. She noted how this wine was sapid, flavorful…fresh. She really led us through this tasting and at one point, before we tried our 5th wine, recommended that we drink water and eat a little bread to clean our mouth of the acidity so that we could move on. On to the 2001 vintage, she pointed out aromas such as artichokes, fruits, nuts, and then that salty marine aroma at the end. She helped me to understand how this wine, from an extraordinary year, had different aromas than the rest. How it was well balanced.


And then it was over.  A time to reflect.  A time to appreciate.  Apreciate a wine. One wine…six vintages. And a wine tasting that focused on the wine that brought us into the glass, into the territory.

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