RKS 2023 Wine: Campanian Memories! A Campanian Aglianico

In 2019 I received an invitation from the Italian Trade Commission in Toronto for a June press trip to Naples. It was mostly wine but there was a trip for a few of us to Pompeii and a walking tour of Naples. What a way to fall in love with Naples and then extend my trip to visit Sorrento, Capri and Positano. Oh the food and the nooks and crannies of Naples. It corrupted me to such an extent if its not a Napoli pizza why bother eating pizza at all. And the Vitingo Wine Show at a castle on the waterfront in Naples unearthed some surprisingly good wine.

One of the happy exhibitors at Vitingo: Photo Robert K. Stephen

Well one of the press trips involved passing by the charming mountaintop town of Montefalcione where early in the morning we were met by its mayor and a delegation. We had a short walking tour of the beautiful city and I noted I must try and get back to it but COVID and some Portuguese press trips have kept me busy and a bit diverted from Italy.

This Aglianico is produced and bottled by Donnachiara based in Montefalcione so my Campanian  memories have been sparked.

The wine is 100% Aglianico which has been grown in clay soil and has spent 6 months in 225 litre French oak barriques and a further 8 months in the bottle.

Aroma: Blackberry abounds accompanied by blueberry, black cherry with a bit of fading youth on the edges.  

Palate: Rich ripe cherry rules the roost held in place by modest but noticeable tannins. Nice little rift of cherry liqueur kicks in just before the long finish.

Personality: I am neither risky or flippant. I am a serious muscular red full of heft and power and like so many Italian wines built for food.

Not Caputo flour then not a Napoli pizza! Photo Robert K. Stephen

Food Pairing: So much of the turf food in Naples would be more than happy sharing your mouth with this wine. Why not just say go to Umberto’s in Naples or to Tasso in Sorrento and look to the menu and you may find an ideal match. I would find nothing amiss having a Tasso pizza with this wine! Ask Mattia Gargiulo at Tasso for some help. Tell him that Canadian wine writer Robert K. Stephen says hello and wink and ask for the freshly caught fish in the morning but you’ll have to switch to Greco di Tufo white wine for any of those dishes. Where is the better food in Italy…Roma or Napoli? To avoid a fist fight best avoid that debate!

Some great Pasta at Tasso in Sorrento! Photo Robert K. Stephen

Cellarbility: Enough tannins and heft to conclude this wine is only commencing its ascension to greatness. Will happily strut into 2030.

Price: $30 (Ontario).

RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 93/100. JamesSuckling.com 94.

(Donnachiara 2020 Irpina Aglianico D.O.C., Donnachiara, Montefalcione, Italy, 750 mL, 13.5%, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 262956).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: