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Villa Matilde Fiano di Avellino 2010

Other White Wine from Italy
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Winemaker Notes

Intense straw yellow, with a bouquet of distinct elegance, reminiscent of ripe citrus fruit, apricots, peach and nuts evolving towards exotic fruit and honey. Structured, silky-textured, mellow and well balanced, with excellent finesse, persistence and typicity.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2010 Fiano di Avellino is a gorgeous wine. The explosive bouquet alone is worth the price of admission. This is a beautifully delineated, expressive Fiano that stands apart from the vast majority of its peers. Readers will not want to miss this sublime Fiano di Avellino. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.

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Villa Matilde

Villa Matilde

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Villa Matilde, , Italy
Villa Matilde
Over 3000 years ago, on the lavic, mineral-rich slopes near Mount Massico and the volcano of Roccamonfina, Greek settlers reinvented viticulture, adjusting cultivation methods to the climate and soil of their adoptive home. Where vine shoots had originally laid directly on the ground, it was in northwestern Campania they were first supported by wooden poles (falanga) above the soil. The resulting wine was to become the "immortal Falerno" sung by the great poets of ancient Rome. (The name, incidentally, comes from "falanga" rather than a particular variety: the varieties themselves being three, both white and red.) In the 1950s and early 1960s, a successful lawyer named Francesco Paolo Avallone set out on a unique mission: bringing this favorite of emperors back to life. In synergy with the University of Naples, his research team found the best surviving vines and patiently grafted cuttings onto new rootstock. Decades of inspired and dedicated work ultimately bore splendid fruit: 20 original clones of Aglianico, Piedirosso (both red) and Falanghina (white), trademarked as Villa Matilde. Since the estate's first official vintage in 1976, these exclusive Villa Matilde clones have incarnated a red Falerno del Massico and its white brethren, direct descendants of those wines celebrated by Virgil and Horace. All wines are nurtured by the unique microclimate and soil of Villa Matilde: volcanic, mineral-rich hills facing the Mediterranean sun and the sea (just minutes from the gorgeous Gulf of Gaeta), sheltered on three sides by the Massico mountain range. The range - covering no less than 95% of the appellation's entire production of Falerno del Massico! - is styled by Riccardo Cotarella with the founder's son and daughter, Salvatore "Tani" and Maria Ida Avallone. The property's 173 acres under vine are divided into two farmsteads: Tenuta di San Castrese and Tenuta di Parco Nuovo, closer to the coast. Terrain on the former is a composition of lapilli, lava stone, piroclastic material, ash, and a particular, friable rock (locally called Tassone). Parco Nuovo, on the other hand, as coastal soil is mainly sandy, rich in iron silicates, potassium and phosphorus - best suited to the white Falanghina and other native grapes destined for future production. The principal estate, moreover, is flanked by properties in the Benevento and Avellino districts - respectively Rocca dei Leoni and Tenute di Altavilla.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

WWH123454_2010 Item# 111231

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