Di Majo Norante Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Founded in 1968, the Di Majo estate cultivates more than 200 acres under vine. In order to ensure consistent, high-quality production for all the estate’s wines, Alessio Di Majo hired renowned oenologist Riccardo Cotarella as a consultant. In addition to producing quality wine at an outstanding value, the Di Majo family is dedicated to practicing environmentally sound agriculture. The Di Majo Norante winery sits on the estate of the Marquis Norante of Santa Cristina in the region of Molise, along the Adriatic Sea between Puglia and Abruzzo. The cultivation of vines in this area dates back to 500 BC, when the region was inhabited by two pre-Roman civilizations, the Sanniti and the Osci. The estate has been dedicated to growing vines since the 1800s. In the 1960s a modern cantina was constructed and vines were replanted in the Ramitello area. Optimal exposure, constant breezes during the summer, excellent soil composition and a slope toward the Sciabolone and Madonna Grande valleys combine to create a particularly favorable environment for the production of wine here.
While certainly not one of the hundreds of indigenous Italian varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon has been present in the country since the 1820’s and now encompasses approximately 35,000 acres. Only a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in northern Italy, but notable examples include Angelo Gaja’s Darmagi from Piedmont and San Leonardo (typically a Cabernet blend) from Trentino-Alto Adige. Southern Italy sees more plantings, especially in Sicily, Puglia and Campania; most of these versions are made for everyday consumption and rarely garner widespread attention.
Then there is Tuscany, where Italian Cabernet Sauvignon can rise to impressive levels of quality. It is required in Carmignano, and since 1996 has been permitted in Chianti and Chianti Classico. The grape first shook up the Italian wine world in the early 1970’s, with the release of the so-called “Super Tuscans.” These were wines from the coastal region of Maremma that broke the rules of almost every Tuscan appellation and therefore had to be labeled as “table wine.” The first, Sassicaia, is a blend of Cab with Cabernet Franc. Other notable Italian wines that include Cabernet Sauvignon are Tignanello, Ornellaia and Solaia. These and others bear Cabernet’s signature notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, tobacco, graphite and oak, all supported by impressive structure.