Montevetrano Core Aglianico 2014
Proprietress Silvia Imparato indulged in wine as a hobby until she decided to rebuild her family’s vineyards in Montevetrano, in the oft-underestimated region of Campania. She employed the skills of highly regarded winemaker Riccardo Cotarella and they have created an outstanding icon wine they decided to name Montevetrano. Montevetrano is a small zone in the hills near the commune of San Cipriano Picentino, not far from Salerno. Mountains surround the property, with the vineyards situated on gentle slopes facing south by southwest. The heart of the estate is a beautiful, ancient villa. In the first years of production the basement of the villa also served as the cellar. Now the wine is made and stored in a new modern cellar, built in 2000. Silvia and her friends use the old cellar for private vintages. Within a very short period of time her work with Cotarella has produced an absolute jewel in this location. Between the end of September and the start of October, Montevetrano first harvests the Merlot grape, followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon and finally the Aglianico. Fermentation initially occurs in steel vats for about 15 days, after which the wine is transferred to new barrels for 10-12 months. The process is traditional but also strictly controlled, guaranteeing proper refinement and a balanced maturation. The process also ensures the grapes retain the regional features typical of Montevetrano. Cotarella is particularly proud of this wine, being the very first icon wine he has made; he considers it the father of his reds.
Italian Red Wine
While picturesque hillsides, endless coastlines and a favorable climate serve to unify the grape-growing culture of this country. The apparent never-ending world of indigenous grape varieties gives Italy an unexampled charm and allure for its red wines. From the steep inclines of the Alps to the sprawling, warm, coastal plains of the south, red grape varieties thrive throughout.
The kings of Italy, wines like Barolo and Barbaresco (made of Nebbiolo), and Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino (made of Sangiovese), as well as Amarone (mostly Corvina), play center stage for the most lauded, collected and cellar-worthy reds. Less popular but entirely deserving of as much praise are the wines made from Aglianico, Sagrantino and Nerello Mascalese.
For those accustomed to drinking New World reds, the south is the place to start. Grapes like Negroamaro or Primitvo from Puglia and Nero d’Avola from Sicily make soft, ammicable, full-bodied, fruit-dominant wines. Curious palates should be on the lookout for Cannonau (Grenache), Lagrein, Teroldego, Ruché, Freisa, Cesanese, Schiopettino, Rossese and Gaglioppo to name a few.