Yesterday afternoon was an interesting session at Radici del Sud 2012, it included for me the best wine I have tasted during the whole competition, but also a number of wines which underwhelmed. Aglianico is one of my favourite wine styles. When it is right, it makes some of the best wines on the planet.
When it is smothered in oak, it becomes dull and boring, like so many new world wines that taste of coffee and vanilla. During the class of Aglianico’s yesterday, those producers that did get it right produced wonderful wines, that stood out like beacons compared to many of the other wines.
It was interesting that for me, it was Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata which were able to producer better, more variety correct wines than Campania. It seems there is an international influence on Campania which is hopefully a fad as it is robbing many wines of their indigenous style.
In today’s final morning session we look at Taurasi so hopefully Aglianico from Campania can get back on track with this bracket.
With all the judging sessions of Radici nearly finished, it has given many of the judges a fantastic insight of the wines of the south. The best examples are as good as any of the best wines made in the world today. However, as with any region that is just starting to make a name for itself, many producers are unsure what style they should be aiming for and in future it will be interesting if each region can as a whole, make wine that highlights the advantages of using native varieties.
For me, it has not only been fantastic in trying so many diverse wines from the south, but also meeting so many people who are passionate about the wines of Italy and especially the wines of Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily. With this much enthusiasm and knowledge, it is good to know that the south is in good hands.
Molettieri owns some of the best-located vineyards in Taurasi and his wines are textbook, uncompromising examples of what Aglianico can do here.”–- Stephen Tanzer, IWC
After it seems like an eternity getting the wines ready for shipment via @mondoimports we have finally have the first shipment of Salvatore Molettieri bound for Australia. They should land in Australia around the start of June.
Included in this this shipment are the following three wines:
Once again, Molettieri has produced some of the most successful wines among this year’s crop of new releases from Campania. These four wines represent essentially different selections of Aglianico from the Molettieri family’s Cinque Querce vineyard. Antonio Galloni
Irpinia DOC Aglianico 2008 Cinque Querce:
The 2008 Irpinia Aglianico Vigna Cinque Querce is an elegant, silky red. Molettieri has tamed some of the wildness of Aglianico without losing varietal expressiveness. Perfumed black cherries and dark raspberries come to life in this finessed, supple Aglianico. Texturally, this Cinque Querce is deceptively medium in body this year, but it has plenty of underlying depth. It is a terrific bottle for the money. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018. 90 points Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate #195 Jun 2011
Taurasi DOCG 2006 Cinque Querce:
The 2006 Taurasi Vigna Cinque Querce is an utterly impeccable, brilliant wine. Vibrant dark cherries, flowers, and minerals all flow onto the palate with remarkable concentration. The proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove, the Taurasi Vigna Cinque Querce delivers incredible richness while retaining tons of clarity, inner perfume and harmony. This is a fabulous effort from Molettieri. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. 94 pointsAntonio Galloni Wine Advocate #195 Jun 2011
Taurasi Riserva DOCG 2004 Cinque Querce:
This single vineyard, 100% Aglianico aged 42 months in barrique could prove to be the quintessence of the D.O.C.G. Molettieri is a practicing organic winery. Integrated insect and disease control is followed and copper and sulfur-based products are used in accordance with organic standards. Organic fertilizers, primarily manure, add nutritients to the soil. Molettieri uses no herbicides, fungicides or insecticides – the high altitude of the vineyards ensures breezy, dry air, making molds a rare occurance. Minimal doses of SO2 are added to the wines to ensure freshness and quality.
In the spring we will ship his whites for the Australian summer.
Pretty simple really. Once I walk out the door on a Friday night I know I have a couple of days with my family. We eat, drink and spend time together without the frantic craziness of our Monday to Friday lives.
Normally we order some takeaway and enjoy a good bottle of wine. Takeaway for us last night was wood fired Pizza’s from our new local Firechief which is just down the road.
We started with a half bottle of Louis Roederer NV before moving onto a bottle of Salvatore Molettieri Vigna Cinque Querce Taurasi 2006 which was spectacular. I opened the bottle Thursday night just to have a quick look at it and also give it some air. With 24 hours, open in the bottle this wine was mind blowing. Can’t wait to show it in Oz in a couple of months time.
For the last year I have been searching for a producer of Aglianico from Campania that would be a great fit for Mondo Imports. We already import Pipoli Aglianico from Basilicata which makes fantastic wines all for under $20 a bottle.
Hence, when we looked to Campania, my aim was to look for the best producers of this variety. After reading and researching, the name of Salvatore Molettieri kept reappearing.
Fast forward three months and we have agreed to start a collobaration for Australia with the first wines due here around the end of April. These are great wines, with some wine critics considering some of the best in the whole of Italy.
Below are some quotes that are listed on http://www.wine.com and give you a good understanding about Molettieri.
“A new wave of wines from Campania that showcase how special the Aglianico grape can be.” – Robert Parker, Jr.
“This house will be a prime source of superior aglianico for years to come… Salvatore Molettieri and his sons take risks for greater ripeness and quality.” -– Stephen Tanzer, IWC
“Molettieri owns some of the best-located vineyards in Taurasi and his wines are textbook, uncompromising examples of what Aglianico can do here.” –- Stephen Tanzer, IWC
Molettieri’s vineyards are located in the finest sub-zone for Taurasi Aglianico production, Montemarano; production is entirely biodynamic at this tiny family-run estate (the family even mills flour from their own wheat fields to produce bread!) At these high-altitude vineyards, harvest often does not take place until mid-November, and sometimes under snow. These richly fruited purple-black wines are of unbelievable concentration and complexity with almost silt-fine tannins – not for the shy wine-dabbler, but mandatory for the true Italian wine lover. For delicious drinking at an earlier stage, the Irpinia Aglianico is an intense mouthful at a fantastic price (Tanzer called it “almost too good for its category.”) Robert Parker Jr. called the 1997 Molettieri Taurasi “The finest Taurasi I have tasted since the 1968 Mastroberardino.”
Molettieri is a practicing organic winery. Integrated insect and disease control is followed and copper and sulfur-based products are used in accordance with organic standards. Organic fertilizers, primarily manure, add nutritients to the soil. Molettieri uses no herbicides, fungicides or insecticides – the high altitude of the vineyards ensures breezy, dry air, making molds a rare occurance. Minimal doses of SO2 are added to the wines to ensure freshness and quality.
To read more about SalvatoreMolettieri click on the link by the person credited with discovering his wines, Marc De Grazia
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia