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04 June 2015

Italy: Campania

Is Campania one of Italy's most exciting wine areas? It surrounds the region's capital Naples and spreads up and down the coast and inland, where the best-known vineyards lie on steep hillsides; as well as on the Vesuvius foothills and on the coast and islands of Capri and Ischia. Although it's a very southern region, Campania plays host to several excellent white varieties such as Falanghina, Fiano, Greco and the even more obscure/rare Coda di Volpe. On the red front, there's a fair amount of the sometimes star Aglianico grape planted, although I did find some of these a tad firm and extracted even after a few years ageing. The wineries tasted and reviewed in this post are found in the neighbouring subzone appellations of Sannio, Greco di Tufo and Taburno. € prices quoted are cellar door.

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See bottom of post for notes on their wines
Cantina Fontana delle Selve 2013 Falanghina, Sannio DOC - exotic peach and banana notes, quite soft and juicy vs underlying 'chalky' acidity.
Cantine Iannella 2013 Greco di Tufo DOCG - lively lemon apricot and yellow flower aromas, subtle yeasty edges and zesty texture, nice fresh vs weighty finish.

Vigne di Malies - Sannio DOC
Opalus 2013 Falanghina - quite rich and characterful, zesty and juicy vs fatter banana fruit, good wine.
Fojano 2013 Fiano - zesty and intense with floral notes and 'chalky' texture, juicy and delicate then weightier on its very nice finish.
Callida 2013 Coda di Volpe - zesty and 'chalky', tighter structured white with long intense finish.
Aedo 2013 Greco - more exotic perhaps and zestier, quite intense too with tasty complex finish.

Cantina del Taburno
Falanghina 2013 Sannio - lighter style perhaps, still nice and zesty / 'chalky' with long mouthwatering finish. €7.30
Greco 2013 - delicate and 'chalky' with floral celery tones vs juicy pear and ripe peach, crisp and tight on the finish. €7.50
Fidelis 2010 Aglianico del Taburno DOC - lively berry and cherry fruit vs firm structure, nice sweeter and perfumed fruit finish with liquorice notes vs that dry grip. €7.30
Bue Apis 2008 (100+ year-old Aglianico) - dark and smoky with peppery liquorice vs savoury aromas/flavours, still fairly solid structured palate vs lush dark and spicy fruit. Pretty serious red, needs food and a substantial bank account... €45.

La Fortezza
Falanghina 2013 Taburno DOC - quite concentrated peach and banana fruit vs zesty crisp mouth-feel, very nice. €7.50
Fiano 2013 Taburno DOC - similarly concentrated, a little richer and more exotic with rounder palate then zesty long finish. €8
Greco 2013 Taburno DOC - again quite rich vs intense, oily vs nutty palate with tasty long finish. €8

Cantina di Solopaca
Falanghina Frizzante Beneventano IGP (aged 1 month on the lees) - attractive style light fizz with floral notes and 'chalky' crisp bite.
Falanghina del Sannio 2013 - quite 'mineral' / 'chalky' texture with crisp delicate length.
Falanghina Spumante Brut, Sannio DOP (10 months on lees in tank) - a touch yeastier, fairly light and delicate too with refreshing frothy finish.
Fiano 2013 - nutty and intense with tight and crisp mouth-feel, lots of interesting flavours on the finish.
Intenso Moscato Dolce (5.5% abv) - lovely fresh Muscat aromas vs yeastier side, light and easy-drinking, nice sweet fizz.
Solopaca Rosso Classico 2011 Sannio DOP (60% Sangiovese 40% Aglianico, 18 months in barrel) - enticing smoky dark fruit nose with dried cherry and liquorice, firm and fresh mouth-feel vs savoury maturing notes and cooked berries, drinking well now.
Aglianico 2011 Sannio DOP - more structured and grippier vs ripe damson and kirsch flavours, fairly firm and tight still but drinking well enough now.

Masseria Venditti
2013 Assenza Barbetta Sannio DOC (Barbera, organic, no added sulphites) - shows lots of enticing vibrant berry cherry and cassis fruit vs lightly grippy texture, fairly intense actually with peppery liquorice on a long finish; very good.
2009 Marraioli Aglianico Sannio DOC (organic, no oak) - smoky & leather tones with liquorice and meaty edges, attractive firm vs sweet texture, very nice smoky finish; concentrated and tasty red.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.