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The Wines of Campania

Wines of CampaniaWhile Aglianico headlines the red varieties, Piedirosso, with which it is frequently blended, is acquiring greater recognition; many producers, in fact, craft single-varietal bottlings of the grape. Casavecchia and Pallagrello are two of the other recovered varietals, focused on exclusively by Vestini Campagnano. In general, the reds tend to be quite powerful in expression, while the whites, in contrast, are far less demonstrative, yet display an enervating acidity. While many, like Greco di Tufa and Falanghina, are mild in flavor some, particularly Fiano, project rather stirring aromatics. All are generally marked by restraint—lending them a particular affinity with food.
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De Conciliis Selim Spumante Brut NV
De Conciliis Selim Spumante Brut NV
Price: $21.45

Elegant, fresh, and mineral-laden, the De Conciliis NV Selim Spumante Brut is a rare Campanian sparkler. Bursting with tropical and orchard fruits, the Selim dances across the palate with saline minerality and citrus zest; it’s elegant and lively, an ideal wine for aperitivi. A blend of 55% Aglianico, 35% Fiano and 10% Barbera grown in mineral-rich clay soils, this wine ferments in stainless steel to preserve its terroir, getting its second fermentation in the bottle; after some months, the yeast is disgorged and a small dosage is added. Intense, unusual and beautifully balanced, Selim is a fitting tribute to its namesake, Miles Davis.
De Conciliis Donnaluna Fiano 2014 750ml
De Conciliis Donnaluna Fiano 2014 750ml
Price: $24.99

Complex, zesty and mineral-laden, this ’14 Fiano layers its orchard fruits with crushed rocks, acacia honey, and herbs. Weighty yet fresh, this wine whooshes across the palate with mineral-driven energy, building to a saline finish that complements the wine’s sweet inner perfume of honeyed fruit. Heftier and more complex than Pinot Grigio, wilder than Chardonnay, De Conciliis’ organic Fiano ferments and ages in stainless steel to better articulate its unique Campanian terroir; it’s one of our favorite value Italian white wines.
De Conciliis Aglianico Donnaluna 2014 750ml
De Conciliis Aglianico Donnaluna 2014 750ml
Price: $24.99

Juicy red fruits and brambly blue berries layer with sun-warmed earth, pressed savory herbs, baking spices, and white pepper in this deep purple, approachable ’14 Aglianico Donnaluna. While Campania’s Taurasi is a long-aging, tannic red, De Conciliis crafts its Aglianico Donnaluna to be approachable early; this wine swaddles the palate with intense, supple fruit and chewy tannins--it’s expressive, food-friendly and a complete delight. A blend of 90% Aglianico and 10% Primitivo, Donnaluna Aglianico ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel and ages for a year, half in stainless steel and half in used oak.
I Pentri l'Amore delle Api Fiano Beneventano 2014 750ml
I Pentri l'Amore delle Api Fiano Beneventano 2014 750ml
Price: $39.99
Currently Unavailable

Meaning “love of bees,” I Pentri’s “L’Amore delle Api” Fiano testifies to the estate’s dedication to nature; it’s a concentrated, intense and organic wine that bursts with the sunny heart of Campania. Succulent stone fruits dance with honeyed orange zest, white flower petals, crushed river rocks, and kisses of spice in this beautifully made ’14 Fiano from I Pentri. Fiano smells deceptively sweet, but this wine complements its sweet aromatics with savory herbs and minerals, unfolding on the palate with a textured, rich feel and building to a sneakily powerful finish. Deriving from the estate’s scant two acres of Fiano vines, the grapes for this wine ferment with natural yeasts, and the wine ages in large wooden barrels for a year before bottling. Only 80 cases of this Fiano make it to the Unites States.
De Conciliis Naima 2009 750ml
De Conciliis Naima 2009 750ml
Price: $54.99

As free and spirited as its name, a tribute to the John Coltrane song, would suggest, this ’09 Naima bottling bursts with brooding dark berries, warm saddle leather, cigar wrapper, freshly tilled loam, baking spices, crushed herbs and dried flower petals. Smooth yet vibrant, this wine spills chewy, dense tannins that cling to the cheeks and unfolds to reveal a complex, powerful palate that builds to a lingering, mineral-laden finish. A wine for Aglianico lovers, Naima is an unabashed bottling of the beloved grape and the estate's unique Cilento terroir; grapes ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages in a combination of barrels for three years, followed by a year in stainless steel before bottling. De Conciliis produces about 1,300 cases of Naima annually, with just a handful of cases arriving in the US.
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva 2007 750ml
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva 2007 750ml
Price: $59.99

Brambly wild berries, succulent black fruits, and juicy cherries waft with peppery spices, warm saddle leather, roasted game, incense and underbrush in this stunning ’07 Taurasi Radici Riserva. This wine oozes silkily across the palate while chewy, polished tannins cling to the cheeks; a sweet inner perfume finds its complement in savory bass notes, making for an entrancing combination. Deriving from vines averaging 30 years of age grown in the mineral-laden, volcanic soiled Montemarano vineyard, the grapes for this wine ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about ten days; the wine ages in a combination of barrique (20% new) and cask for 30 months, followed by at least three years in bottle before release. While this wine is structured for aging, it’s still very accessible--Aglianico lovers won’t want to miss this must-have Mastroberardino bottle!
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici 1995 750ml
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici 1995 750ml
Price: $69.99

Rich red and black fruits dance with worn saddle leather, crushed rocks, pressed mint, and warm earth in this beautifully crafted ’95 Taurasi Radici; two decades of maturity have added a gloss of tertiary notes like black tea, truffles and potpourri. While this Aglianico bristled with tannins upon release, time has tamed them and the wine now flows like smooth silk to a lingering, mellow finish. Deriving from vines grown in the mineral-laden, volcanic soiled Montemarano and Mirabella Eclano vineyards, the Aglianico grapes for this wine ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about ten days; the wine ages in a combination of barrique and cask for about 24 months, followed by two years in bottle before release.
Raffaele Palma Salicerchi 2011 750ml
Raffaele Palma Salicerchi 2011 750ml
Price: $74.99

A blend of Piedirosso, Tintore and Aglianico, this dry, lean and almost steely rosato offers a burst of fruit, a peppering of licorice and cloves, and a long, savory finish replete with tannins; it’s a serious wine for serious wine lovers. Fresh as the Amalfi Coast whence it comes, this ’11 Salicerchi presents a structured, complex side to Italian rosés. Working with agronomist Giuseppe Coppola and enologist Vincenzo Mercurio, estate owner Raffaele Palma has come a long way in a few years, and IWM puts this Amalfi Coast winery on its short list of up-and-coming estates. Raffaele Palma’s acres shoot up from 50 meters above sea level to 450 meters above sea level, requiring that all agriculture be done by hand at this organic estate.
Petrolo Galatrona 2006 750ml
Petrolo Galatrona 2006 750ml
Price: $149.99

Expressive, luscious and mineral-driven, the ’06 Galatrona is hitting its stride. Bursting with brambly black fruits, warm saddle leather, pencil lead, melted chocolate and olive tapenade, this brooding wine is powerful and complex. Complementing its savory notes with sweet, ripe black fruits, this wine wraps the palate with chewy tannins as it glides to a resonant, lingering finish. Suave and seductive, this Galatrona vintage is an extraordinary Merlot! First created by Luca Sanjust in 1994, Galatrona derives from a single vineyard that sports clayey soils with shale and sandstone. The grapes macerate for about two weeks in temperature-controlled tanks, and the wine ages in barriques (one-third new) for 18 months.
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici 1973 750ml
Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici 1973 750ml
Price: $225.00

This is one of those bottlings that Sergio Esposito tasted and had to acquire for IWM. Perfectly mature in its profile, this ’73 is gorgeous, offering a kaleidoscopic palate of brambly black fruit, cigar wrapper, licorice, beef jerky/salami, chocolate, earthy spice and mineral-laden fruits. While Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici will reflect vintage variations, the full-bodied palate shows dark fruit, ash, minerality, and black pepper. Both the Taurasi Radici and the Radici Riserva enjoy long maceration on the skins and extended aging both in barriques and Slavonian casks, followed by time in the bottle, but the Riserva, made rarely and in small quantities, receives additional aging and derives from the choicest grapes.