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2016 Irpinia Campi Taurasini “Re‘na Vota”

Terre del Vescovo
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Aglianico grown high in the sparsely populated mountain villages of Irpinia, east of Naples, produces red wines that rank among Italy’s most intense and austere. This example—a declassified Taurasi from Montemarano, one of the top crus for Aglianico in Campania—has been somewhat tamed through seven years of aging, first in large cask and then in bottle. Today the tannin is sleek and chalky, providing a firm backbone to the racy blackberry, sour plum, violet, and bitter cocoa suggestions. Rustic in the best sense, this biting red demands similarly characterful fare. Try it with aged sheep’s milk cheeses, hearty stews, or a thick, dry-aged ribeye seasoned simply and singed by woodsmoke.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Aglianico
Appellation: Irpinia Campi Taurasini
Country: Italy
Region: Campania
Producer: Terre del Vescovo
Vineyard: Planted in 1952
Soil: Clay, limestone
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Campania

map of Campania

Campania enjoys an ancient history as a fine wine producer—in fact, its precious nectars were highly coveted in ancient Rome and received accolades from many important writers of the era, including Pliny the Elder. While winemaking here dates back to the first Greek settlers to colonize the countryside, Campania is now enjoying a wine renaissance, as small farmers are relying less and less on the co-ops that dominated the scene for decades and increasingly turning to estate-bottling to make a living and capture the richness their territory has to offer.

The Mediterranean coastline, with bustling Napoli and towering Vesuvio as its focal point, is home to a number of light, simple wines from indigenous grape varieties, often planted in sandy volcanic soils. But Campania’s viticultural heartland lies further inland, in the Irpinia region around Avellino: this mountainous terrain offers altitude and limestone soils where the noble Aglianico, Fiano, and Greco are capable of producing what are arguably some of southern Italy’s most complex, characterful, and often age-worthy reds and whites.

The increasing number of artisanal producers bottling their own wine caught our eye several years ago, and today we count one Campanian grower among our ranks. With its deep winemaking traditions—not to mention world-famous specialties like mozzarella di bufala and pizza napoletana—we will undoubtedly return soon.

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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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