Just to make it clear from the beginning, I SELL WINE, and I use this blog to write, promote and sell wines (imported by me or by some friends - call it the Wine Mafia...) that are original, unique, engaging and extreme, and that are available to the Irish market in such limited quantities that it would be virtually impossible to find them in shops and restaurants around the country. Here you will also find recipes, the odd restaurant review and various and variegated personal thoughts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ciro Picariello

I've never been so impressed by so many wines from a single producer. Actually, I like all their wines...
I heard about this small producer a while ago, I tried to visit them during  a recent trip to Campania. I got lost so many times that even the GPS gave up at the end.
I decided to meet them at the last Vinitaly in Verona. Much easier....

During my two days there, I found myself going back to their stand over and over again with the excuse of tasting them one more time, you know, just to be sure. I was doing it for the smile they were putting on my face. 
They were good, genuine and refreshing - for the soul and the palate - after dozens of dull samples tasted elsewhere...

This is what wine is all about. 
A very simple wine making technique: only indigenous yeasts used, SO2 reduced to the absolute minimum, long fermentation that allows the wine to go completely dry with no residual sugar and long ageing on the fine lees, no filtration or fining. And of course, great grapes from very old vines.

Ciro Picariello’s vineyards are located part in Summonte (at 650 meters above sea level) and part in Montefredane (500 meters above sea level) in the Fiano di Avellino DOCG area. The combination of very old vines (80 years old on average), high altitude and rich volcanic soil gives wines with incredible minerality, a pronounced flintiness and a smokey character, very clean and with no heaviness.

When young, like in the Irpinia Fiano, they show the peach flavours typical of the Fiano grape, but ageing (oh yeah, if they can age…) they turn into a rich, complex palate where almonds, citrus and herbs are perfectly supported by the fresh acidity. Try the Fiano di Avellino 2006 if you don’t believe me…

The almost Alsatian Greco di Tufo has the characteristic spiced, fruity, luminous palate with a fresh minerality similar to the Fianos (and not easy to find in Greco wines).

On the red front, the Campania Rosso is an unusual field-blend of Aglianico, Piedirosso and Sciascinoso (grapes are picked and fermented together): fresh, crunchy and vinous is the best wines for charcuterie you could ever imagine.

The Aglianico “Zi Filicella”  would be a Taurasi if not for the only steel ageing. The tannic-acidic punch of the high altitude Aglianico is tamed and balanced by a rich, intense fruit. A wine great to drink now but with a great ageing potential.

All available in Sheridans Wine Bar & Shop in Galway.

Give me a shout if you need more info.

Salute e saluti


1 comment:

  1. really adore the whites from campagna-- just got back!