Monday, April 27, 2015

Wineries to Watch - Lunch with VITI in Cesinali (Av)

Wine maker Luigi Sarno, Cantina del Barone, asked me if I wished to join him for a quick lunch before heading back home.  It was around lunchtime, his mom had just prepared a risotto with porcini mushrooms, and so I thought -why not?  Lunch with the wine maker is a perfect opportunity to try their wines where they  perform at their best; At the table, paired with local specialties.  And this would be a perfect opportunity to see how Sarno's Fiano di Avellino Particella 928 would stand up at lunch.  But Sarno had other ideas.  Sure, he opened a bottle of his wine, but at the table, there were two other bottles from two other wineries as well.  You see, two years ago,  Cantina del Barone along with Cantine Dell'Angelo and Il Cancelliere decided to come together under one umbrella and form a small coalition... an alliance.  A union that would stand strong during the various wine fairs and wine tastings that can take a toll on small wineries in terms of costs and time.  A union that would focus on the strengths of each winery, therefore highlighting the strength of the territory. A union named VITI - which in English means vines.

Back to the table, back to Sarno, who decided to open up his latest Particella 928 Fiano di Avellino 928 IGP 2012.  Probably one of the most interesting Fianos that I have tried in a long time.  Fiano.  That's what does Cantina del Barone does. Punto e basta.
The meal continued, Sarno opened up another bottle of wine.  this time a Greco di Tufo from Cantine Dell'Angelo.  Sticking with vintage 2012, we went for the cru Torrefavale Greco di Tufo DOP 2012.  As I tasted, I was instantly brought back to a visit with the owner of the winery, Angelo Muto and Luigi Sarno (his enologist).  To reach the vineyard that produces this wine, we needed a jeep and a prayer.   An elegant expression of the cantina's Greco di Tufo  which is known for its sharp nose and palate.

The next wine was the only red of the VITI trio.  An Aglianico from Il Cancelliere.  Sarno tasted first, sharing with me that this wine; Campania Aglianico IGP 2012, an Aglianico that doesn't touch any wood whatsoever is, well,  a tasty bomba.  15 % alcohol content.  Wow...
I listened, I tasted.  I thought back to a visit to Montemarano where the winery is located back in, well, back in, well, back in 2012.

One lunch.  Three wines.  Three wineries.
I appreciated that. Not only because I had an opportunity to taste three reflections of Irpinia, but I had an occasion to see how a territory can work and grow together, from a small kitchen table in a small town to a large international wine fair.


Cantina del Barone
Cesinali (Av)

Cantina Dell'Angelo
Tufo (Av)

Il Cancelliere
Montemarano (Av)

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