Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Whites - Vinitaly with Mastroberardino
It was easy to make myself comfortable, make myself at home in the colorful corner of their stand in pavillion 6, E 3. I found a seat alongside drawings by Piero Mastroberardino hanging on the wall. I found a seat at a table alongside Mastroberdino's oenologist Massimo Di Renzo and agronomist Antonio Dente. They were willing to spend some time with me that morning to talk about their whites...I was ready ready to listen, and taste. I was curious about the new vintage and really eager to try some of the older ones. So we began with vintage year 2011, in the bottle for just a short period before the fair. Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio Bianco DOC, Falanghina Sannio DOC, Fiano di Avellino DOCG, and Greco Di Tufo DOCG. All young wines with promise. We paused a moment to talk about the harvest year. A good one for reds, I was told. But they are very happy with ther whites as well. I was told that the philosophy of the winery is not only to produce great wines, but to make their wines distinct... meaning a Greco di Tufo has to look, smell and taste like a Greco di Tufo. A Fiano like a Fiano. In addition, their crus need to stand out as crus. Distinct from their classic line. So we tasted...
Morabianca Falanghina Irpinia DOC 2011. Another Falanghina, but distinctive from the one I tried earlier. The grapes here are from their vineyards in Mirabella Eclano (Av) with vines that are around 8 years old, so just entering into a phase where they will produce consistent grapes. The climatic conditions (in respect to Benevento) allow for a longer maturation period. Here the harvest was held in mid October, nearly a month earlier than the Falanghina from Benevento. Radici Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2011 with vineyards in St. Stefano, and not in Lapio as their Classic line Fiano. This Fiano, as well as the earlier one we tried shared aromas such as fruit, and toasted nuts. With the cru, I was able to go a little deeper when I placed my nose in the glass, floral aromas, a light light touch of honey.
Then it was time for Nova Serra Greco di Tufo DOCG 2011 from their vineyards in Montefusco. Tasting this white as well as the others, I noticed and respected the differences in each wine. That was probably the point.Point well taken.
Then it was time to move along, to taste some of the earlier vintages. To examine how the colors, aromas, and taste mature...to identify differences in the vintages. See how they are progressing. We tried the following from their Vintage line - wines that were bottled that particular year, but held on to by Mastroberardino. Fiano di Avellino 2006 and 2002, and their Greco di Tufo 2006. We tried More Maiorum Fiano di Avellino. Thier Fiano from their vineyards in Lapio which spend 6 months in French oak. 2008, 2002, and 1999. So we sat, reflected, I took notes. I remember clearly watching Di Renzo and Dente as they tasted. Deep in thought as the tried each glass. I was curious what was going through their minds...the various harvests? Earlier tastings? Challenges and victories in the vineyards? In the cantina? Almost as if they were watching one of their children grow up. Mature.
Silence. And then a What are you doing tomorrow? Would you like to try the reds?
Ok, I answered. Ci vediamo domani...