Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Glass of Wine, Mercurio, and 5 Grappoli

I quickly skimmed over an email from a friend of mine inviting me to a wine tasting…another wine tasting. Naples has had more than its fair share the past few months. But something about this one was different. I looked closer. No…no…this one would be different. This one would take me to Irpinia by way of Sannio and Caserta. This one would be held in the warm, inviting PDM della Gran Caffetteria in Napoli’s living room…Piazza dei Martidei. This one would be personal, intimate. Three wineries…5 wines, all under the umbrella of enologist Vincenzo Mercurio.

Three wineries, each coincidently recipients of Duemilavini 2011 5 grappoli awards. 5 grappoli-the highest recognition given to a wine by Ais (Association of Italian Sommeliers). Campania received 13…3 belong to wineries that work with Vincenzo Mercurio.

I grabbed my copy of Duemilavini to take a look at what I would be in for that cool rainy evening, and then I was out the door.

I Favati-Irpinia…Cesinali to be exact. I started off with a white wine. The only one at the table that evening. But what a white…. Fiano di Avellino Pietramara 2009 (5 Grappoli)…

Fattoria La Rivolta. Torrecusco-Benevento. An area that I realized I have neglected in my vineyard hoppings...A winery worth looking into. And at this particular tasting, aglianico present in two versions. A rosè—Aglianico del Taburno Rosato Le Mongolfiere a San Bruno 2009, and Aglianico del Taburno Terra di Rivolta Riserva 2007 ( 5 Grappoli).

Masseria Felicia. Sessa Annurca-Caserta. Falerno del Massico Rosso Etichetta Bronzo 2007. A falerno made with 80 % aglianico and 20 % piedirosso...another 5 Grappoli...I could see why.

For my last wine, I was back in Irpinia…back to I Favati to taste their Taurasi Terzotratto Riserva 2005.

In between trying wines, chatting with friends, and tasting appetizers, I had a chance to talk with Vincenzo Mercurio. To talk briefly about his role as enologist…the importance that he gives to the territory; how it must be respected, no appreciated. How only in this way can you produce a wine…THE wine that  not only represents a winery, but represents Irpinia, Sannio, and Caserta.

It was time to go…I grabbed my last rustico, and made my way to my car. I can safely say that I enjoyed myself.  That I tried 5 wines that were new to me. That I spoke with three wineries that proudly represented Campania. That I had a quick chat with an enologist who has made his imprint in Campania as well as throughout southern Italy. And that I definitely have some wineries to investigate in future vineyard hopping appointments…


  1. compliments for the article and photos. when you come in our cellars?
    Vincenzo Mercurio