Italy is a treasure trove of unique local grape varieties, with well over 100 red AND white grapes used in their appellation system. The majority of them are regional specialties that have an identity in the area they are grown, but have little international recognition otherwise and rarely get planted or emulated elsewhere. In some ways the lack of recognition is sad because of the great diversity and untapped potential quality (the world does NOT need another 10,000 acres of Chardonnay at this point), but it also makes Italy that much more special and unique, and there is still so much there to explore. Campania and the area around Naples is a particular hotbed, with immense diversity of climates and soils along the volcanic mountain ranges that provide numerous wine making possibilities. Greco is one of the area's noble white grapes (along with Falanghina and Fiano), which reaches its best expression in the high altitude vineyards of the Tufo D.O.C. The presence of sulfurous rocks (the 'tufo' in their name) gives the wines a distinctive minerality that cuts through the richness of the grape and provides some zest to the natural perfume. As much as we in Charlottesville would like to think the bottling name translates to 'Land of Wahoos', the nickname 'Land of Grapes' is an apt description of the region.
Pale gold in the glass, the first aromas are immediately rich and perfumed, almost flowery like a Viognier but with more white fruits and cooler citrus tones. As it opens up the zestier Mediterranean fruits and more mineral elements start to emerge, so it never gets into the tropical or sweeter flavors. The palate has a rich natural unctuous texture hat comes from a light natural pressing of the grapes (not oak aging or residual sugar), and the fine prickly minerality give the white fruits a quenching lingering mouthfeel. The finish has a bit of stone fruit/melon rind type dryness and firmness that lends a drier sense to the finish than just wet fruits, which gives it a LOT of food potential as every good Italian white wine should. An incredibly lively wine that's great with richer seafood dishes, especially those that feature a lot of citrus, as well as even pork.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!