(2018) Aged only in stainless steel tanks, in contact with the lees, there's a bold, assertive creamy pear fruitiness on the nose here, with a little exotic undertow. In the mouth that succulent, ripe orchard fruit has weight and texture, a little guava or mango gives both sweetness and a welcome sour edge, the rounded, custardy, generous acidity adding to the succulence.
(2018) The vinification is similar to the Greco, with four to five months on the lees in tank. It seems a little firmer, more strict on the nose than the Greco, with citrus and herbs and a steely green apple character. In the mouth a similar limpid texture, but indeed the acidity is higher and the whole picture more sharply chiselled, some fat around the mid-palate swept up in a mineral salts and lemony acidity.
(2018) This 100% Aglianico cuvée is from a single vineyard and is aged for 18 months in medium-toast new French barriques, with a minimum of an extra 24 months in bottle before release. It's an extremely dense and powerful wine, with massive concentration, yet there is light and shade. Briar, liquorice and dark, vinous plummy fruit on the nose is just starting to allow some delicate rose and cherry character to emerge. In the mouth it is strapping stuff, an onslaught of sweet fruit that is cloaked in tannin and bright acidity, a touch of charry coffeeish oak, and just loads of extract and substance. Hugely serious, muscular and impressive, this is worth tucking away for at least five more years before broaching, but if opening now, decant for a couple.
(2018) 100% Aglianico, this spends approximately 18 months in medium-toasted French oak, then nine more months in bottle before release. Creamy and fragrant, this is at once more open and rather softer than the single-vineyard Piano di Montevergine. Lovely graphite and bay leaf nuances over ripe black berries, touches of something more floral. In the mouth it is firm, but nowhere near the muscular extraction of the Piano di Montevergine, rather a more juicy and open fruitiness, edged by cherry-ish acidity, but then a twist of endive and liquorice shows the structure that lies within. This is long, taut, but fruity and spicy, and will have staying power too.
(2018) From Campania in southern Italy, land of Vesuvius and Naples, this is Fiano, a grape that has become synonymous with the DOCG of Avellino, but this from the IGT of Beneventano. A touch of herbs and stone-fruit (apricot, peach) on the nose, but fairly subdued aromatically. In the mouth it is quite full and has some richness, more dry stone- and apple fruitiness, a nice lick of salty mineral acidity and a moderate finish. A nicely flexible food-friendly style given the bit of textural richness and freshness.
(2015) 150,000-bottle production, established for 15 years. Quite a muted nose, with ripe red fruits and a touch of liquorice. Lovely palate, the cedar and coffee melding with firm blackberry and cherry fruit, a little savoury plum flesh depth to this, a touch of spice, but finishing with gentle and persistent structure.
(2015) Small family winery, 100,000 bottles, buying from 15 growers. Classic Falanghina, with wax and blossom, pollen and apple skins. Full of fruit: vivid and orangy, a nice hint of nuts and honey, and a long, beautifully balanced finish. Very expressive and authentic.
(2015) 20,000 bottles from a very small winery that was of the first to bottle in Castelvenere. Has a slightly appassimento character, almost a creaminess with a lift of flowers and cherry, but quite a complex and interesting nose. The palate is fairly voluptuous and full, with plenty of ripe fruit and weight, and a much fuller, more substantial take on the Barbera.
(2015) 150,000 bottles from an estate formed 20 years ago. One of the first private wineries. Feels rich and full, though there is a nice hint of Aglianico's herbal side too. Lots of bittersweet structural acidity and tannin, and a rich, lightly raisiny wine with obvious ripeness again. Powerful and sweet in the finish. 88/200.
(2015) 75,000 bottles. Amongst first bottlers of the entire province. Unusual nose - little fruit character in this very deep, buttercup yellow wine, with more blossom and honey than fruit, more honey and nuttiness on the palate, very nice acidity, and a savoury, serious interpretation of the style.