Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vineyard Hopping - Montefredane (Av) - Az. Vinicola Traerte

It was raining that Saturday morning.  Saturday, November 16th.  A light cold chilly rain that had decided to visit the Campania region for the previous few days.  So we, Raffaele Troisi and I, decided to have quick caffe' to take the chill off at Bar Moccia, our meeting point 5 minutes from the autostrade exit, before heading to his winery in Montefredane, Avellino.
Raffaele Troise, a man who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at a dinner with friends  Troise, one of Campania's best known bianchisti...white wine makers with a history along and rich in tradition with their winery Vadiaperte, then most recently Az. Vinicola Traerte.
I followed Troise over a railroad track, up a winding street, to his little piece of wet paradise in Montefredane.  The rain had let up temporarily, so he thought best that we get our vineyard hop on before the skies decided to change its mind.
Montefredane.  Rainboots on.  Necessary for this clayey/terracotta soil that had become almost impossible to trudge through during our quick walk through the vineyards.  I could only imagine the difficulty a tractor would have.  The harvest, per fortuna, was completed already.  Muddy was an understatement.  Troise held up a handful of terrain and squeezed a little into a ball.  From that moment on, the phrase 'clayey soil' will have this image in my mind.
Raffaele Troisi
Troisi took me on a whirlwind tour as he watched the skies out of the corner of his eye.  First, an Aglianico vine, historical, still hosting a few bunches of Aglianico grapes which were on their way to becoming a dessert wine.  Troisi told me that his father remembers this was around when he was a kid.
We continued...towards Greco di Tufo vines which are at least 30 years old.  Fiano di Avellino...vines which were 2 meters apart, 70 years old.  A few snapshots, a quick conversation, the Raffaele suggested we head back to the winery before the threatening downpour.

At first disappointed,  but then I noticed Raffaele was leading me towards the stainless steel vats that housed his wines that had been harvested not so long ago.  With two wine glasses and a smile, he led me the first vat- a Falanghina from Torrecusco (Bn) which had been harvested on the 10th of October.
Then on to Coda di Volpe.  Coda di Volpe from two different territories. Torenocelle (Av) where the terrain is clayey...whre I should expect a higher acidity in the glass...

Then a second taste from another vat, Coda di Volpe but from Pietradefusi (Av)...where the acidity is a little more constant.  Perfect for his cru- Torama which I would try a little while later.
Next, a taste of his Fiano from Montefredane...vat #11, a particular selection for his cru packed with freshness, herbal aromas.
Then vat #5...aromas and flavors that whispered stay tuned...
Next- Greco di Tufo...first form Montefredane -fuori zona- for the DOCG, then vat # 2.  Vat # 2 contained Troisi's Greco from Montefusco.  Montefusco- I couldn't help but think back to a vineyard visit there few years back, with Troisi himself, a glass of Greco in my right hand...

This time, however, I was holding a glass of Greco which was turbid-thick- still fermenting.  A glass that would keep us company for the rest of that early morning.
Rain.  Not heavy, but we decided to leave the vats, and head towards the comfortable wine tasting room where we could open a few bottles and explore the latest bottled vintage -2012.
We started off with what was surprise for me.  Traerte's Coda di Volpe sparkling style.  So new that a label hadn;t been designed yet.  In the bottle for a little over a week. The first time for Raffaele Troisi- a bella esperienza, he told me...but already has in mind what he would like to adjust next vintage, he shared over a glass with a perlage that just didin't want to stop.  1,200 bottles - 5 magnums - coming soon.
Why not continue with Coda di Volpe.  Coda di Volpe Irpinia 2012  to be exact...A tasting of Troisi's base whites- each with a personality all their own, representing the vintage, the territory...
Fiano di Avellino 2012, Greco di Tufo 2012...

Then the crus-a mini vertical of Torama...vintages 2011 (the first) and 2012.  2012, recently awarded 5 Grappoli form Bibenda Magazine-the first for any Coda di Volpe...ever.

Next, Aipierti Fiano di Avellino 2012. It's freshness/acidity of this vintage was a bellissimo contrast to the next glass Troisi wanted me to try.  Aipiert Fiano di Avellino 2008.  A vintage important and special to him.  A glass of wine which shred a mature aroma in the glass, smoother sensations on the palate.
Next, Tornante Greco di Tufo 2012.  This Greco produced from the territory that I had walked/slipped/slid in earlier.

Troisi wanted me to try one more wine before our little get together was over.  At this point, he broke out a little cheese-caciocavallo from Calitri (aged 6 months) to be exact to share with a glass of Aglianico 2010 from vineyards in Venticano, a stones throw from Taurasi.  A red that sees no wood-only stainless steel.  Still holding on to those Aglianico tannins that we know and love so well.
We continued to taste, continued to chat, when I noticed the clock o the wall.  Amazed at how much time had passed.  Knowing full and well that sooner, and not later, I would have to go back into the chilly November rain, head back down the winding road, over the railroad track, past Bar Moccia before hitting the autostrade-direzione casa.
But at least now the chilliness that had met me in Montefredane a few hours earlier had melted.
Thanks to Raffaele Troisi...

 Az. Vinicola Traerte
Contrada Vadiaperti 
Montefredane (AV) 83030 
0039 0825 582080

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