I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised when I received a message from Angelo Di Costanzo. Short, simple, to the point. An invite to hang out at Abraxas to taste and talk about wine. How could I turn that down? It would be totally casual, there would be other sommeliers, restauranteers, wine writers and friends. And wine maker Vincenzo Mercurio and some of the wines from wineries that he works with.
No, no wasn't an option.
Twenty or so wines; 10 whites, 10 reds, divided casually, cozily into 4 rounds. The second glass of round three caught my attention. An aglianico from I Favati. The white label was familiar, similar to their Pietramara Fiano Di Avellino DOCG. But this was an aglianico...vintage 2007, and as Angelo poured it into my glass, I sat up and took notice. Color- a passionate ruby red. I gazed at it for awhile before tasting. 2007. It would need awhile to open up in my glass. I would have to be patient. I Favati and Mercurio were for their first harvest season. They patiently allowed the grapes to macerate for three weeks. They patiently aged the wines for twenty-five months in a combination of large barrels, tonneaux, and barriques. A longer period than that required for a Taurasi Reserve.
So I waited a little while longer. Nose- deep and continually evolving as time passed...as it had time to breathe and warm up in the glass. Those familiar fruit aromas, spices that complemented and not overpowered. Mouth- smooth, morbido, comfortable. A wine that was warm and lingering with a nice persistent, patient finish.
The tasting continued...time to move on. Time to add a little footnote to my tasting notes. Note to self- vineyard visit with I Favati…la primavera/spring. Patience…