Terre Del Vescovo
by Anthony Lynch
Irpinia, the colloquial name for Campania’s province of Avellino, is located just an hour’s drive from the glitz of the Amalfi Coast and the frantic bustle of Napoli, but it may as well be a different planet. It is here, nestled in the Apennines, that Giuseppa Molettieri dutifully honors Campania’s contadino tradition. Her characterful wines are a fitting tribute to her late father, founder of the family farm, and a most authentic testament to the promise of a part of Italy less traveled.
Coda di Volpe, a variety named for the foxtail-like shape of its clusters, is the Campanians’ daily drinking white. If the local reds are dense and contemplative, Coda is quite the opposite—in Giuseppa’s words, “this is the wine for drinking in summer on the Amalfi Coast.” At home, savor its breezy aromatics—lemon, flowers, and fresh-picked herbs—alongside a bowl of green olives or another regional specialty, mozzarella di bufala.
This deeply hued rosato is far from a trivial quaffing rosé. Instead, it displays the commanding structure of old-vine Aglianico from a terroir of serious caliber, along with notes of chalk and leather often found in the region’s reds. Its savoriness lends it to pairings with thick slices of your favorite aged ham, but you might also try it with a nettle or broccoli rabe pizza.
After more than five years resting in cask, this stately beast of a wine has finally been deemed ready to be released into the world. The Aglianico vineyard, planted in 1952, has access to water reserves deep in the ground, allowing it to maintain outstanding freshness even in the hottest years. An enlivening vein of acidity belies its tremendous tannic might, giving it an intensity and balance that will likely allow it to outlive you and me. For drinking now, this black-as-night southern stalwart will complement your heartiest slow-cooked stews and pasta sauces.