Italy’s 2019 Vitigno Italia Wine Exhibition
I had the pleasure of being invited to Vitigno which occurred in Naples from 19th-21st of May. I am told this is Southern Italy’s biggest wine show but there are producers from all over Italy attending. And talk about a cool location! It took place in a castle on the ocean called Castel dell’Ovo.
In addition to journalists some buyers from over twenty countries were present to taste wine and food products presented by some 250 producers. The five categories of wines were Rosé, Sparkling, White, Red and dessert wines. Over 2,000 brands were presented.
I tend to avoid the tried and true at these wine exhibitions and focus on the less travelled road. So in my mind wines from Barbera grapes really were excellent and not often seen in Campania at least in my limited exposure to Campanian wines. The Fontana delle Selve served a Thelemako Sannio Barbera DOC 2017 that was full of intense red fruit, blueberry and chocolate on the nose and blueberry, blueberry pie and black cherry on the palate. I was told by the producer there was also some Camaiola in the blend which is a grape indigenous to Campania. The wine clocked in at 14% alcohol and had a distinct purple colour. In order to ensure I was not dreaming I tasted it three times within an hour and what a marvellous wine.
Speaking of Barbera the Castelle Barbera Sannio 2017 had a nose of blueberry and blueberry pie with blueberry, lavender and blueberry pie on the palate. Astounding! I am getting lots of blueberry wit these Barbera’s!
Equally impressive was a Denica Azienda Agricola Rosso Sannio Barbera DOC 2018 with a deep black cherry colour with blueberry and blueberry pie on the nose and massive black cherry on the palate. Alcohol was 13.5%.
I found it strange there was no or little Barbera I encountered in Campania other than at Vitigno. What a gem in hiding!
From Vigna Villae in Taurasi I tasted a Fiano di Avellino DOC 2018 which was outside the typical Fiano box with a nose of mango, apricot, pineapple and banana. At 13% this was a Campanian tropical delight. This wine would be a killer companion to lobster and crab.
Another white wine with attitude was an Arliquia (translated as “something precious”) Coda di Volpe Beneventano IGT 2017 from Azienda Agricola Rotola. “Rotola” translates into “foxtail”. It had an expressive peach, apricot, vanilla and honey nose with a mid gold colour. Slight notes of oak on the palate with honey and peach with some heat on the finish Aged on its lees in Austrian oak for 8 months.
Another impressive wine was a Berbera Rosso IGP 2016 from Quadrigato. It was blend of 70% Aglianico with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. A rich nose of red plum, black cherry and milk chocolate. A rich palate of ripe black plum and red cherry. Excellent with red meat and soft cheeses,
Another notable wine was a Guiscardo Sannio Rosso DOP 2017 from Corte Normanna which was black cherry in colour with smoke, black plum, chocolate and black cherry on the nose. Tannic but loaded with black cherry. I was informed this wine would match Neapolitan Lasagna or a local soup called minestra maritata.
A delicious and massive wine as Taurasi’s can be was a Donnachiara Taurasi DOCG 2015. Black cherry in colour with a huge nose of black cherry and cherry liqueur. On the palate rich blackberry, ripe strawberries with some heat on the palate.
All said and done was it pure luck I failed to taste any stinkers at Vitingo? Or are Campanian wines that good! After 17 days of experimenting with Campanian wines they are indeed excellent and under the radar.