Last night my Italian wine tasting group (this group is made up of mainly other imports, wine merchants and journalists with an interest in Italian wine) looked at around 15 whites and reds from Basilicata and Campania.
Whilst there was lot’s of good wines, there was also lot’s of examples of over use of oak and obvious winemaking faults. There were though, lot’s of really good wines and this bracket featuring the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages of Nanni-Cope were outstanding.
For those of you that are not familiar with Nanni-Cope, you should be. These are truly amazing wines. Below is some background information on the wines and winery.
Giovanni Ascione, whose childhood nickname was Nanni Copé, founded the Azienda Agricola Nanni Copé in 2007. The wine is the fruit of his inner passion for wine, as well as of his encounter with a unique vineyard at Castel Campagnano, in the upper region of Caserta, Campania. It is a beautiful, unpolluted area, with vineyards alternating with woods. The Taburno and the Matese massifs are nearby, the sea is about thirty kilometres away, and the middle course of the Volturno river flows in the neighbourhood. Vigna Sopra il Bosco spreads over a 6.2 acres surface at about 700 feet above sea level, mainly exposed to the north-west. The plants are aged over twenty years on average.
Giovanni’s guiding philosophy reflects the inner power of a wine from the south, expressed in a northern style. Trying to enhance the extraordinary qualities of the Pallagrello Nero through the exaltation of the utmost elegance and drinkability. Never concentrated, neither in the vineyards nor in the cellar. A maximum expression of the terroir.
Vigna Sopra il Bosco is a true obsession. The plants are registered one by one and the whole vineyard is divided into sectors subject to different pruning, foliage management, surface management, and harvesting approaches.
The whole agronomic philosophy is aimed at minimizing interventions. The use of herbicides or pesticides is utterly excluded. A maximum amount of time is spent tending the vineyard with respect for the old plantings. A diversified approach is used for each of the four zones of the vineyard followed by meticulous record keeping on all the plantings. Management of the spring (green) pruning, new growth, the yields, the ground cover between vines and the harvest-period is done on a plant by plant basis. Harvesting is performed row by row, sometimes plant by plant, based on the desired maturation level, over a period of time that spans from the end of September to mid-October. The grapes are selected bunch by bunch and blended, without distinguishing between varieties, however at equal maturation stages. Vinification involves maximum respect for the grape. Nanni Cope