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 haven't 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. Sadly, the Spirit Shoppe closed in 2013.

Click on an image for a larger view of that image.

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. It featured some wines which had received Tre Bicchieri (***) from Gambero Rosso including Montevertrano, Galardi, and Terredora from Campania and Cusumano from Sicily. All wines were opened around noon. The 3 most serious reds (Serpico, Lavoro, Montevetrano) were decanted aroundnoon. 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.


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.


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.

Click on an image for a larger view of that image.

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 don't often like classic local grapes with Bordeaux grapes mixed in.

***Received Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso (3 stars, their highest rating).

Click on an image for a larger view of that image.


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