90 Insider Points

REVIEWS

Ancient Varietals are the Most Fun.

When I come across a wine with grapes I've never heard of before, my palate gets giddy with excitement. The rare and unknown wines of the world are just what a wine geek like me loves to dive into. They often show all sorts of fun characteristics, and it's always fun to log those flavors into my tasting bank. 

Tart black cherry nose. Ripe black and montmorency cherries with raspberry, light earthiness and a backbone of oaky tannin. It has a long finish of black currant. Ready to drink. This is a super fun wine to drink with fellow wine geek friends. 

90 Points - JZ February '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    80% Casavecchia, 20% Pallagrello Nero
  • APPELLATION
    Campania, Italy
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Four Reasons:

  • A blend of Casavecchia & Pallagrello Nero, rare grapes found only in southern Italy and having histories dating back to Ancient Rome
  • Challenging weather resulted in substantially lowered yields in the 2011 vintage, but quality remained high for red wines.
  • Viticoltori del Casavecchia is a cooperative of 40 farmers, and while the business itself is only a few years old, many of Casavecchia’s growers tend to vineyards that are 100 years old or more.
  • The name “Erta dei Ciliegi” is a reference to the cherry trees that proliferate in Campania. And, as luck would have it, this wine is brimming with bright red cherry aromatics and flavor.

For those Members who have yet to embark on a tour of Campania’s delicious local wines, now is a great time to explore. “Campania’s best producers, both small and large, are making some of Italy’s most interesting wines,” writes Vinous. “As always in Italy, it all starts with the grapes. Campania is home to some of Italy’s highest-quality native white and red varieties.”

Ecco! This delightful wine is just one shining example of a local red done right. The recipe is 80% Casavecchia and 20% Pallagrello Nero—both indigenous grape varieties found only in Southern Italy and both with a history going back at least as far as the Roman Republic. No oak whatsoever on this fresh and vibrant, raspberry filled red. The wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel and with a rest in bottle for just six months before release. Still well under the radar thanks to decades of neglect from the international wine press, authentic wines like these from Italy’s Mezzogiorno remain some of the best bargains in the marketplace.
 

TASTING NOTES 

This red wine has strong but supple tanins. It is medium bodied with an earthy flavor.

*invino maintains excellent cellaring conditions, and strives to sell every bottle in pristine condition. As is standard industry practice, any wine purchased over seven vintage years old, is sold "as is" and may not be returned for any reason.

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

Passion, tradition, respect for the earth. This is the recipe of our small cooperative, based in Pontelatone, in the province of Caserta.

We were born a few years ago, but we have a very long local viticulture history behind us.

We are forty members, all of small size, and we put together over ten-year-old vineyards, sometimes even with fry stocked logs dating back to the beginning of the last century, reared with the local method of high back reconverted now to more qualitative criteria; the vines are very fragmented and are always conducted in a strictly traditional way, without any mechanization.

First the Osci, then the Samnites, and finally the Romans to indissolubly establish the link between the wine and the territory of Pontelatone. A bond that saw the triumph on the tables of ancient Rome the Trebulano, a wine appreciated and often mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Elder.

The terroir of choice was Trebula Baliniensis, a place corresponding to the current Treglia, where archaeological excavations are underway to bring to light the ancient baths and connected settlements. Then, thanks to the ancient Via Trebulana, through Alife and the pre-Apennine belt, the wine arrived in the Great Capital of the known world.

And today, after centuries of oblivion, the wine of the Romans has returned to life, thanks to the commitment and stubbornness of the small winemakers of the area, who have never wanted to abandon the cultivation of Casavecchia for varieties that are perhaps easier and more productive.

The results achieved give them reason, and promise a future of new, great successes.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

This bold and structured wine pairs well with beef or venison. It also pairs with a parmesean-crusted rack of lamb.