Sunday, March 27, 2011
I have a friend named Luigi. Luigi Tecce. And he makes a Taurasi that everyone has been talking about; Poliphemo. A wine made with aglianico grapes from his vineyard in Paternopoli (Av). With grapes from vineyards that are at least 85 years old. I tried his 2006 for the first time last summer in Taurasi’s centro storico. It was perfect with a panino di salsiccia alla brace under the stars. I’ve had his 2005, most recently at last weekend’s Parlano I Vignaioli. On several occasions, I’ve tasted his 2007, not out yet, but he brought a bottle or two along with him to Ariano Irpino last month. We shared it the judges table over 12 plates of spicy soffritto. His aglianico…his Taurasi…his Poliphemo.
Luigi is full of surprises. He likes to experiment in his cantina. So when I saw him during the Dsfida di Soffritto with a dark, green unlabeled bottle, my curiosity got the best of me. This bottle held one of the wines that he makes for himself in small quantities. Luigi smiled and poured me a glass.
Brilliant golden rays of sunshine left the bottle and shone in my glass. Sweet aromas of mature fruit and spices. The flavor, to my surprise, was slightly frizzante.
Luigi…allora? I asked…What have you been up to?
He smiled again…and filled me in. Coda di Volpe (that I was able to guess), Bombino, and Trebbiano (ah ha!). But that’s not all. This is added to the marc of passito, dessert wine, made with Fiano, Coda di Volpe, Greco di Tufo, and Malvasia. Fifteen days of maceration in wood then its 6 months of slow fermentation in a demijohn. This creation had been in the bottle since about the 20th of August 2010.
Does it have a name? I wondered.
Not really, though I was thinking about Calypso… He answered.
A name wasn’t important. It didn't need to have a name. This wine wasn’t for sale. It was what it was. A product of different wine making techniques, a combination of various grape varieties, a series of trials and errors. An outlet for his creativity, for his curiosity. For himself and for his friends.
Grande, Luigi…and grazie.
Via Trinita #6
83052, Paternopoli (Av)