On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Best of Campania Bianco Tasting 2017

25 Apr 2017

As I have done with all Antiprimas this year, I have been adamant about not knowingly scoring unfinished wines.  There was no indication that any of the wines below were still in either tank or barrel and so each has a score out of 5 stars … in this case I have removed the wines from wineries I visited in person (Day 1 & 2 found here) – (Day 3 & 4 found here) because there will be a more in-depth report and notes about these wines and the wineries – you will also find wines that scored 4 stars or above are linked back to the reviews section of the website with a more in-depth review of why I thought it deserved its score.
During the “Bianco” (white wine) tasting 101 wines were presented here is how I scored these wines at the moment in time.

Alois 2015 Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Bianco Caiatì … (*** 1/2)
Antica Hirpinia 2016 Fiano di Avellino … (***+)
Antica Hirpinia 2016 Greco di Tufo … (*** 1/2)
Astroni 2014 Campi Flegrei Falanghina Vigna Astroni … (***)
Cantina di Lisandro 2015 Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Bianco Lancella … (*** 1/2+)
Capolino Perlingieri 2016 Falanghina del Sannio Preta … (****)
Colli di Castelfranci 2016 Fiano di Avellino Pendino … (*** 1/2)
Colli di Castelfranci 2016 Greco di Tufo Grotte … (***+)
Colli di Lapio 2016 Fiano di Avellino … (*** 1/2+)
Contrada Salandra 2014 Campi Flegrei Falanghina … (*** 1/2)
Cuomo Marisa 2015 Costa d'Amalfi Furore Bianco Fiorduva … (*** 1/2+)
Di Marzo 2016 Greco di Tufo … (***+)
Fattoria La Rivolta 2016 Sannio Taburno Coda di Volpe … (*** 1/2)
Fattoria La Rivolta 2016 Falanghina del Sannio Taburno … (*** 1/2)
I Capitani 2016 Greco di Tufo Serum … (*** 1/2+)
I Favati 2012 Greco di Tufo Terrantica Etichetta Bianca … (***)
Il Verro 2015 Terre del Volturno Bianco Sheep … (*** 1/2+)
Il Verro 2015 Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Bianco Verginiano … (***+)
La Guardiense 2016 Falanghina Spumante Quid Brut … (***+)
La Guardiense 2015 Falanghina del Sannio I Mille per la Falanghina … (****)
Pietracupa 2015 Fiano di Avellino … (*** 1/2)
Rocca del Principe 2015 Fiano di Avellino … (*** 1/2)
Rocca del Principe 2014 Fiano di Avellino Tognano … (*** 1/2)
Sammarco Ettore 2016 Costa d'Amalfi Bianco Terre Saracene … (*** 1/2)
San Salvatore 1988 2016 Paestum Greco Calpazio … (*** 1/2)
Sanpaolo 2015 Greco di Tufo Claudio Quarta … (***+)
Sclavia 2015 Terre del Volturno Passito Pallare' … (*** 1/2)
Tenute Casoli 2014 Fiano di Avellino Kryos … (*** 1/2)
Terre Stregate 2016 Falanghina del Sannio Svelato … (****)
Urciuolo Fratelli 2016 Fiano di Avellino … (*** 1/2)
Vesevo 2016 Greco di Tufo Vesevo … (*** 1/2+)
Vigne Guadagno 2014 Fiano di Avellino Contrada Sant'Aniello … (*** 1/2)
Villa Diamante 2015 Fiano di Avellino Vigna della Congregazione … (***+)
Villa Raiano 2016 Fiano di Avellino … (***+)
Villa Raiano 2014 Fiano di Avellino Ventidue … (*** 1/2)
Villa Raiano 2014 Fiano di Avellino Alimata … (*** 1/2)
Villa Raiano 2016 Greco di Tufo … (***+)
Villa Raiano 2014 Greco di Tufo Contrada Marotta … (***+)
Viticoltori del Casavecchia 2015 Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Bianco … (*** 1/2+)



Campania Stories - Day 1 & 2

11 Apr 2017

Fresh off the plane I head straight to two wineries ... let's take a look at what they have to offer:

Bellaria ...

If the Pope drank your wine when he flies how often would you tell a visiting journalist?  This is not a trick question – it actually happened to me on my visit to Bellaria winery in Irpinia (Campania, Italy), in fact it happened so often I lost count; but, and here’s where I have to be completely honest – after I tried the wine I’d have to say that Pope Francis has good taste in wine.

Campania HospitalityThe folks at Bellaria really have a handle on making good quality wines (11 in total) producing about 100,000 bottles each year: 2 sparklings, 5 reds and 4 whites. I sat down with Antonio Pepe (owner), Gabriele Musto and Raffaele Noviello (winemaker) to taste 8 of those wines … each with a unique twist: 2015 Coda di Volpe (Ottant’anni Irpinia, aka 80 year old vines) – and the Grand Pappy of the whites is that “Pope Wine”, 2015 Oltre - Greco di Tufo, a wine that is so unique in its make up you have to taste it to believe it.  Red wines are dominated by the Aglianico grape in everything from this part of Campania, from IGT all the way up to the Taurasi:

2012 ‘Core’ Irpinia Campi Taurasini (DOC)Bellaria Top 2
2012 ‘Rafe’ Campania Aglianico (IGT)
2009 Taurasi (DOCG)

DonnaChiara …

Visit two was to DonnaChiara and a wonderful afternoon talk with Ilaria Patitto (owner), who you could easily chat with and have a cup of tea (or glass of wine depending on time of day) and just while away the afternoon: Top 3 wines here were:

2016 Beneventano Falanghina
2011 “Ostinato” Greco di Tufo
2012 Taurasi di Umberto


Masseria Vigne Vecchie …

Day 2 started with me bonding with my driver (Pierluigi) over Carhartt – he wore pants and I had on a jacket made by the US-based company … we both agreed their clothing quality was excellent; but other than Masseria Winesthat our English-Italian conversation was very one-sided (towards the English, as my Italian is virtually non-existent).  I was set to visit Masseria Vigne Vecchie, and the key phrase of the day was “under new management”, actually meaning, the younger generation is taking over, and in the wake of that the winery is set for a name change: “Samnes”, which is now beginning to appear on some bottles.  While there I was goaded into trying their grappa (which was tasty, but I am still not a grappa fan); what really impressed me here was the 2012 Iacco … they also showed off the new labels and new class of wines under the Samnes umbrella: Bianco Sannio and Rosso Sannio both named Secutor.

Mustilli …

In typical Italian fashion I was late for stop number two, I believe by at least 2 hours (maybe more), to Mustilli, now run by the sister team of Paola and Anna Chiara Mustilli, Anna is the winemaker while her sister Paola is obviously the voice behind the brand … Mustilli is most noted for the re-birth of Falanghina, having brought it back from the dead in single varietal form in the late 1920’s (with a bottling in 1929) – in the Mustilli Winescatacombs of their cellar is the very first bottle, under Plexiglas (and hard to get a picture of) – there were a multitude of impressive wines here, most notably:

2015 Vigna Segreto, Falanghina
2015 Aglianico Sannio
2014 Cesco di Nece, Aglianico



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