The Authentic Irpinia Wine Club Vol. 3 Tasting Notes
The Authentic Irpinia Wine Club brought to you by Schneider's of Capitol Hill
This is one of our favorite shipments to date (who are we kidding, we love them all but indulge me on this) and can’t wait to hear what you think of these representations of the 3 DOCG wines from Campania: Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avellino. Irpinia represents the exclusive growing area for all three, which is a major distinction in Italian wines.
Below you’ll find more on the wineries and the wines, but first, we want to thank you for being a part of this club. By joining, you’re helping the local economy in Irpinia, which is still hurting from recent events. As a part of wine club, you’re not just helping these small, family-run wineries. It helps the entire economy in this undiscovered region grow.
So we’d love your help in getting folks back on their feet and growing opportunities for the small family run businesses in Irpinia. Share Wine Club with friends and invite others to join at: www.theauthenticirpiniawineclub.com. We’re giving a bonus 2 bottles of wine for those who refer 2 new members of the club. Just shoot me an email and let me know who you’ve signed up, firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as always, we’d love if you came to visit us in Irpinia. Visit the wineries, learn to cook & make pizza like an Italian, and help Italy get back on its feet!
Be sure to share your love of these wines, and tag us @theauthenticirpinia, in your photos on Instagram and Facebook!
IRPINIA DOCG WINES:
You’re going to explore the full range of Campania DOCG wines in this shipment, which can legally be produced exclusively in Irpinia. When you dive into these wines, you’ll have Taurasi from Il Cancelliere, Greco di Tufo from Cantine dell’Angelo and Fiano di Avellino from Cantina del Barone. These are three small, family run wineries producing around 20,000 bottles a year or less. Each specializes in one grape varietal, but they all work together to represent the best of the best from Irpinia.
Remember to let these wines sit for at least a week after arriving at your door before trying them. We know it won’t be easy, but it will be worth the wait!
Here’s a little history on the wineries and the wines you’re about to enjoy…
Il Cancelliere is located in the heart of Montemarano, in an area particularly well suited for the production of Taurasi. The family winery was founded by Soccorso Romano, whose nickname is Il Cancelliere, hence the name of the winery. Their Aglianico vines surround the family cottage, which now serves as their cellar. Their natural winemaking process is based on traditional Irpinia wine making techniques that Soccorso learned from his father, and these lessons serve as the foundation for all they do. Il Cancelliere produces an Irpinia Aglianico, a Campania Aglianico, Taurasi, and Taurasi Riserva, each from its own cru of Aglianico grapes. And if you know who to ask when you visit, try their Passito that is out of this world.
Angelo and his family grow Greco grapes on some of the oldest land in the heart of Greco di Tufo country. He’ll gladly take you for a vineyard adventure through the steep terrain, all you have to do is ask. As a third-generation winemaker, he continues the traditions of his family by producing all natural wines, without chemicals, additives, or temperature controls as they work all 6.5 acres of their two diverse growing areas by hand. They focus on having a minimal impact on the grapes and the land the grapes are harvested from to keep the focus on the unique tastes the highly sulfurous soil brings to the minerality of their wines. Angelo has received numerous awards for his exceptional Greco di Tufo wines.
Luigi Sarno produces incredible Fiano di Avellino wines on the land his father purchased from a Baron in Naples many years ago, hence the winery’s name. Located in a unique microclimate with rich volcanic soils, Luigi’s natural wines are handcrafted bringing out unique flavors and structures in his white wines. Luigi has been recognized as a top new winemaker in Campania and his utmost respect to the land and the grapes can be tasted in the award winning wines he’s producing. With peacocks roaming the property, fruit, nut, and olive trees surrounding the vineyards and a beautiful B&B on property, Luigi’s winery represents the best of Irpinia. Luigi is also the enologist working with Cantina dell’Angelo.
Il Cancelliere - Montemarano
Nero Ne Taurasi DOCG - 2015:
Grown on 35 year old vines with a north facing exposition at about 550 m in a clay limestone soil, these Aglianico grapes are some of the best of the vineyard. The maceration period is 30 days at room temperature, before the grapes are pressed and aged in steel for 6 months on the lees, then 24 months in Slavonian wood barrels and then aged at least 24 months in bottle. (All regulated and controlled by the Italian government) There is no filtration, no clarification and like all their wines, nothing is added or taken away in the winemaking process. You’ll notice the ruby red color and notes of cherry and red fruits instantly. Big tannins, perfectly balanced with the acidity and an almost smoky finish. Serve at room temperature with your favorite steak, lamb, or an Impossible Burger. We highly recommend opening this bottle at least an hour before drinking. This wine can age easily for up to 25 years, but who can wait that long?
Vendemmia 2018 Campania Aglianico IGT:
These Aglianico grapes were grown in a clay/limestone soil with a north facing exposure at between 450-550 m. This is a young wine and it spent 15 days in maceration before aging for just over 10months on the lees in steel, before aging another 6 months in the bottle. Again, there was no temperature control, no clarification, and no filtration. Right off, you’ll notice the nearly violet color of the wine and the crisp smells of broccoli, red forest fruits, and some cherry. There will be tannins for days in this high acidity wine. We wanted to give you a nice comparison to the Taurasi as both are made from Aglianico grapes but are wildly diverse in their structure and taste. Pair with your favorite charcuterie and serve at room temperature. You can keep this bottle aging for at least 5 years with great results.
Cantine dell’Angelo - Tufo
Torrefavale Greco di Tufo - 2018:
This is truly Angelo’s wine and has won awards year after year from just about everyone in Italy. It’s structured, high minerality taste will make you feel like you’re drinking a red wine when you take your first sip. In the glass, it has almost a green hue to the underlying straw color thanks to the highly sulphurous soil where the grapes were grown. High in acidity, minerality and sapidity, this wine is perfect with oysters, your favorite fish, or pasta with truffles. Drink this wine chilled and it can easily be aged an additional 5 years in your cellar to great results.
Miniere Greco di Tufo - 2018:
Slightly more elegant and refined than the Torrefavale, the Miniere is high in minerality and structure with a near perfect balance of acidity and alcohol. You’ll get notes of almonds, white peaches, and the signature minerality of Angelo’s Greco di Tufos. You might notice more of sapidity and minerality in this wine when comparing it to the Torrefavale, and that’s because the vines grow in soil directly over the abandoned sulphur mines of Tufo. This wine pairs excellently with seafood of all types and should be served chilled. Again, you can age this wine for 3-5 years with no issues. We’ve had a Miniere aged 15 years and it was superb.
Cantina del Barone - Cesinali
Both wines from Cantina del Barone were made with Fiano grapes from seperate crus, but both with a volcanic soil that leads to the high minerality of the wines. The two crus are just a short walk from each other and both were hand harvested grapes after which went through about 2 hours of maceration. After the press, the wines aged in steel tanks for between 9 months and then another 4 months in bottle before coming to the market. Both of these wines can be easily kept in a cellar for 3-5 years, and will hold up even longer. We had the chance to try a 1999 Fiano from Luigi and it was spectacular.
Paone Fiano di Avellino - 2018:
Named for the peacocks that have roamed lands where the vineyards grow since the land was owned by the Baron Luigi’s father bought the land from, this wine is a nod to the family’s history. You’ll instantly notice the golden yellow color of this wine. The taste and smells jump out of the glass and you’ll instantly notice the freshness of this white wine. Structured and balanced, you’ll note hints of apples, hazelnuts, and an almost smoky finish. Pair this with your favorite seafood pasta and the wine should be served chilled.
Particella 928 Fiano di Avellino - 2018:
This Fiano is grown on the younger vines of Luigi’s winery and represents the future of the land. The Particella 928 again has the characteristic structure and minerality that makes these Fiano’s stand out and is elegant and refined on the palette. You’ll notice the beautiful golden hay color, and hints of dried fruit in the wine without it losing the structured minerality and acidity that keeps it from becoming sweet. Serve this wine chilled with your favorite seafood.