Campania, Puglia, & Sicily
at The Spirit Shoppe in South Egremont, MA (05/03/2008)

This tasting was held by the good folks at The Spirit Shoppe in South Egremont, MA, in the beautiful Berkshires. If you havenít been there, Devin & Kathryn Vollmer (and Devin's father) run a lovely wine shop on a rushing brook in this peaceful little New England town.

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They have some real treasures, esp. from Spain & Italy, which is their specialty, but also a bunch of hard-to-find California wines (e.g. Herman Story, Brewer Clifton, Linne Calodo, McPrice-Myers, Siduri, Booker).

The tasting was open from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, in their 2nd floor Tasting Room. Featuring wines from Campania (including Montevertrano, Galardi, and Terredora) and Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri (***) winners from Cusumano in Sicily. All wines were opened around noon. The 3 most serious reds (Serpico, Lavoro, Montevetrano) were decanted. I tasted them from 2:30 to 4pm. The format was quite relaxed and informal which really allowed enough time with each wine. Panna water, good bread, and Parmigiano-Reggiano were there for cleansing the palate as needed.



WHITES

2006 Terredora, Falnghina d'Irpinia, Campania
Soft and delicious. Very good all by itself. 88 points.

2006 Terredora, Greco diTufo, 'Loggia della Serra,' Campania
Appealing, strongly grassy nose. Flavorful, crisp, acidic, and grassy in the mouth. Would work well with an olive-oil-based dish, e.g. antipasti. 88 points.

2006 Tormaresca, Chardonnay, Puglia
Soft, thick, mildly grassy. Somewhat bland after the Greco di Tufo. 86 points.



REDS

2005 Cantina del Taburno, Torlicoso, Campania
(Aglianico & Piedirosso) Very young, waxy nose. Very young in the mouth with almost Beaujolais-like fruit but more acidity and structure. Probably best in 2 – 4 years. 87 points.

2003 Tormaresca, Castel del Monte, Bocca di Lupo, Puglia
(Aglianico) Tight nose of pure black berries. Thick, rich, tannic. A very serious wine! Good length. Not quite in the same class as the 01, but still an outstanding value. 92 – 93 points.

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2003 Feudi di San Gregorio, Serpico, Campania***
(Aglianico) Tight, slightly dirty, red fruit nose. Very ripe red fruit, but slightly dirty on the palate. No one else found this quality in the wine, but it put me off. NR

2004 Galardi, Terra di Lavoro, Campania***
(Aglianico & Piedirosso) HFS! What a nose! Blackberries and slate soar from the glass. Long ringing, finish of black fruits and gravel. A truly terrific wine. Not as thick as the 2002, but otherwise very similar. 96 – 98 points.

2001 Montevetrano, Montevetrano, Campania***
(Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Aglianico) Red fruit, chocolate, and road tar nose. Very tannic, but a little thin. Disappointing for this wine from this vintage. 88(?) points.

2005 Cusumano, Sagana, Sicily***
(Nero d'Avola) Beautiful, ripe nose of cherries and orange zest. Ripe, tasty acidic. Very appealing in the mouth. Modern but classic. 91 points.

2005 Cusumano, Noa, Sicily***
(Nero d'Avola, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon) I passed on this one. I had an hour drive and a Cinco de Mayo party with strong margaritas ahead. Besides, I donít often like classic local grapes with Bordeaux grapes mixed in.

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DESSERT

2003 Cantine Colosi, Passito di Pantelleria, Sicily

[Zibibbo grape, aka Muscat of Alexandria] Huge syrupy nose of honey and tangerine peel. Complex botrytis in the mouth. Tasty stuff! 92 points.

 

 

 


All original content © Ken Vastola