Campania, the Italian region that includes Naples, has a rich history of wine. It all started with the Greeks, who established colonies there, and continued with the Romans, who vacationed on the coast and turned the inland area into an agricultural center.
That wine tradition disappeared in the centuries that followed. Campania once was home to hundreds of grape varieties, but many have disappeared. Wine it is still produced for the local market, but Campania doesn’t — have the international prestige of wine-producing areas such as Tuscany. Its most famous alcoholic beverage likely is limoncello, the ubiquitous lemon liqueur of touristy Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
But the past three decades have seen a renaissance in the Campania wine industry. The Mastroberardino winery, which goes way back to 1878 and is Campania’s oldest, has been joined by newer wine ventures, such as the ambitious Feudi di San Gregorio, founded in 1986, and the small, decidedly artisanal Pietracupa, which started in the mid-1990s. The region’s wines are still little-known, at least internationally, but some of them are outstanding.
Campania’s most famous wine is a red called Taurasi, made from the Aglianico grape, but I really like the region’s crisp, aromatic whites, which are a perfect companion to seafood and provide plenty of refreshment for the spring and summer days to come.
Three of these white wines are Falanghina, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino, made from grape varieties that had disappeared before being revived in the last half of the 20th century. Mastroberardino pionereed much of the work done to identify and preserve these and other grapes
At the Grandi Marchi tasting, I had the occasion to taste some of the wines of Mastroberardino including the mythical Radici. My tasting notes are below:
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio 2014 Bianco D.O.C. SAQ Code: 00972877. Price: $21.00
On the nose, peach and floral aromas. In addition, herbs with lots of minerality. On the mouth, medium to full body. Good length with a refreshing finale. 91\100
Morabianca Irpinia 2014, Falanghina D.O.C. SAQ Code: 11873026. Price: $23.05
Very aromatic nose. Apricots with lots of floral and mineral nuances. Moreover, a hint of vanilla bean. On the mouth, fresh with a good acidity and crisp finale. 92\100
Radici 2006, Taurasi Riserva D.O.C.G. SAQ Code: 00908418. ( link is for the 2008) Price: $48.50
Fantastic aromatic nose. Black olives with deep black fruit and leather nuances. On the mouth, dense and electric with incredible depth and balance. A classic 97\100.
The wines of Mastroberardino are represented in Quebec, Canada by Vinitor Vins & Spiritueux. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.