Monday, February 28, 2011

Face to Face with Wine Maker Carmine Valentino

Carmine Valentino

I try to take advantages of opportunities like this. An enoteca, a Friday evening, a wine tasting. A couple of weeks ago was an excellent chance to appreciate Campania and its diversity in a glass when wine maker Carmine Valentino stopped by Stefano Pagliuca's Enoteca. That evening we were treated to a wine tasting journey, a sort of vineyard hopping in the comfort of Stefano's enoteca.

1st Stop:
Carmine took us to Vesuvius where we met Giuseppe Sorrentino of Azienda Vinicola Sorrentino. Vineyards with a front row view of the volcano, rich in potassium.  Vineyards that produce two of the wines that he brought that evening. One white; Natì IGT 2009, Coda del Volpe or Caprettone grape. An elegant white, with lovely fruit aromas.  An amazing acidity. Fresh, flavorful.  He brought an Aglianico; Don Paolo IGT 2008. A young aglianico, not as tannic as its cousins in Irpinia.  Sweet spice aroma, mature red fruits...with a beautiful color for a young aglianico. 

Next stop:
We moved on to the Amalfi region, Tramonti to be exact.  Here was Gaetano Bove of Tenuta San Francesco.  Gaetano was here to share his Per Eva 2009,  His elegant white made with a combination of white grapes from his region; Pepella, Falanghina, and Ginestra.  A glass of wine that was vibrant, brilliant in our glass.  A wine that proudly shared fragrances such as exotic fruits, florals...fresh, a lovely acidity.  He brought his red made with 100% Tintore grapes.  His E'ISS 2008.  Swirling our glasses we observed the legs s l o w l y  slide down the glass. A dark ruby color. An excellent sneak preview of a wine that will be officially presented at Vinitaly in April.

3rd stop:
Irpinia.  Castelfranci, where Mario Gregorio from Colli di Castelfranci, 600 mts above sea level spoke about his Fiano di Avellino 2009.  His white wine whose grapes have the luxury of waiting for a late harvest.  That extra time so that it can concentrate on its complex intense fragrances.  So that it could give us a color that was alive in the glass.  A red, a Taurasi DOCG 2006.  A glass of wine that gave a longevity that was pleasureable, elegant. 

Afterwards, a chance to chat about the wines over pizza, pasta, and more wine.  Over dessert...a choice of passito.

A chance to chat with  the producers.  With Carmine Valentino.  A wine maker has made a mark in Campania.  A wine maker who was voted Campania's Enologist of the Year 2010 at Gambero Rosso's Gala dei Vini Campane last fall.  An enologist who let the wines speak for the territory...speak for themselves.

I'm glad I was there to hear what they had to say.

Italian Version

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