Along with the white Fiano, Aglianico is the most representative red wine from the Campania region in southern Italy. The Irpinia is produced from fruit grown on the esteemed Contrada Campore vineyard, at 500 meters (1640 feet) a.s.l. This is a rich and intense wine, with a complex array of aromas including red and black fruits, earth, spice and herbs. Though full in body with a long, velvety finish, this is a very approachable Aglianico, and undoubtedly a great value.
Vineyards for the Fiano are planted on opposite north/south sides of the Arianello hillside, indisputably one of the best locations for Fiano. One side is rich in complex volcanic soils and the other in clay and calcareous soils, resulting in a lively wine with white peach, lemon, lime and crushed stone on the nose, enhanced by elegant notes of flowers and aromatic herbs. In the mouth, it is pure, fresh and juicy, finishing with outstanding length and great acidity. The Fiano di Avellino is a true expression of territory.
The 2021 Fiano di Avellino dazzles with a mineral-tinged blend of musky peach and sweet white flowers. It's soft and round on the palate, with a salty flourish up front, further complicated by zesty acidity and tart orchard fruits that cascade throughout. Ginger and sour melon hints linger as the 2021 finishes with youthful tension.
The 2020 Fiano di Avellino opens with a subtle blend of lime-spritzed apples and crushed stone. It’s soft-textured with a crisp minerality that nicely offsets its ripe orchard fruits. A honeyed inner sweetness lingers as the 2020 finishes incredibly fresh and clean yet still impactful. Nicely done.
A mix of sweet pear, lightly roasted almonds, minty herbs and smoke rises up from the 2019 Fiano di Avellino. Its textures are silky-smooth complemented by ripe orchard fruits and hints of candied lime. This remains energetic throughout, as residual acids tug at the cheeks, and hints of sour citrus slowly taper off.
Bright greenish yellow. Crystalline, pure aromas of apple, lime pith, pear and herbs. Fresh and juicy, with lovely inner-mouth peach and lime perfumed and depth. Plenty of focus and energy on the long finish, which showcases subtle sweetness and strong dusting of powdered rocks.
Bright, green-tinged pale yellow. The lively nose combines white peach, lemon, lime, crushed stone and a floral note. Very pure, fresh and juicy, showing good stuffing and a very impressive early personality. Finishes with outstanding length and acid grip and repeating white flower notes.
Vivid straw-green. Powdered rocks, green apple, chamomile and lemon verbena on the deep, complex nose. Then juicy, dense and well balanced, with precise, impressively lingering pomaceous orchard and white stone fruit flavors given outstanding clarity and cut by lively, harmonious acidity. Lovely Fiano that finishes with hints of crystallized ginger and white pepper.
Located in Irpinia, the Fiano grapes come from north to northeast facing slopes at 500-600m altitude. Hand-harvest and vinified in stainless steel followed by 10 months tank ageing, this delicious, concentrated, classy example shows a pale lemon hue and some restrained herbal notes on both nose and palate, allied to zesty acidity and a touch of Italian bitterness. Drinking Window 2018 - 2024.
Bright pale straw-green. Orchard fruits, hazelnut and jasmine on the nose. Then sneakily concentrated and very vibrant on the palate, with nectarine and green apple flavors lifted by a white floral note and nicely supported by a refreshing, zingy citrus spine. Finishes long and energetic, but with a little less complexity than the 2013.
Bright straw. Complex aromas of ripe apricot, apple, minerals and chlorophyll. Densely packed but with harmonious acidity contributing intensity and brightness while lifting the orchard fruit and flinty flavors. Finishes with hints of crushed stone, jasmine and chamomile. This is very stylish.
A small production of Cru Fiano di Avellino crafted from grapes grown in the Neviera Contrada, named for its particular north-facing exposition where, in Renaissance times, the snow (neve) was conserved as ice in a large well-like recipient until the following summer. Still today, this is the area where vineyards experience the most significant differences between day and nighttime temperatures, granting the wines freshness, elegance, complexity and longevity. Vinified and aged in a combination of stainless steel and oak, the resulting wine is intense, persistent and complex on the nose with enveloping citrus and balsamic notes upon tasting. This is a wine conceived for lengthy periods of aging where it will gain even more complexity and appeal.
The name carries within one of the characteristics of this fine white wine that originates in the prestigious "cru" of Arianello. Because it is true that we are in Campania, and therefore in the South of Italy; but it is equally true, and those who deal with Irpinian whites know it well, that there is little heat of this Mediterranean area. Rather, in the Neviera di Sopra '19 -first vintage produced- there is the coldness of the icy peaks, the feeling of the rock that combines with that typical smoky timbre of the most identifiable Fianos. One also finds citrusy traits reminiscent more of lime and green grapefruit than lemon, for an aromatic profile that closes on a refined puff of anise. The mouth cuts, with disruptive acidity, and stitches, with an iodine-soaked sip of mineral sensations, all in a context where at the end of the games the satisfying feeling of having tasted a great label remains.
The 2019 Fiano di Avellino Neviera di Sopra lulls you in with a beguiling display of wild herbs, incense, sour apples and crushed oyster shells. It enters the palate more like nectar than wine, impossibly rich and opulent, yet then traverses to the savory spectrum with saline-tinged orchard fruit, hints of kiwi skins and lime. This tapers off incredibly long, potent and lightly structured, packed full of acid and citrus tension. Wow. The Neviera di Sopra is a new entry to Rocca del Principe's single-vineyard Fiano selection. Talk about getting off on the right foot.
Grapes for this 100% Fiano wine come from the renowned Contrada Tognano, historically considered one of the most exceptional sites for this traditional grape. This Cru wine is produced from a careful selection of grapes harvested from vines grafted with the century-old Fiano clone (pre-phylloxera). An ideal combination of soil, microclimate, altitude, and east-facing exposition make for a particularly characteristic wine. The Fiano di Avellino Tognano boasts great structure, acidity and complexity while typical varietal aromas of white fruits and citrus combine with mint and slightly toasty notes. Unique hints of hydrocarbon become more evident with time.
The 2020 Fiano di Avellino Rierva Tognano combines richness with verve, wafting up with a sweetly smoky blend of crushed rocks and dried apricot. This is textual with a pleasant inner sweetness up front, as a cascade of lime-tinged orchard fruits flow throughout. The 2020 finishes youthfully tense and savory, with a salty sensation that contrasts nectarine tones. This is a total pleasure to taste today, yet it has the balance to mature beautifully over the next five to eight years.
Crushed rocks, raw almonds, young peach and mint aromas form a complex bouquet as the 2019 Fiano di Avellino Riserva Tognano opens in the glass. It floods the palate with an intense mix of saline minerals and zesty green citrus, as notes of tart green apple combine with an enriching hint of hazelnut. This finishes with medium length and a cool-toned feel, ending with a salty sensation.
A tight nose, which shows citrus fruit, white peach and chamomile. Medium-bodied with very bright acidity that carries the fruit and floral character well. The exacting balance of delicate flavors that this wine effortlessly juggles makes it a pleasure to drink now.
The 2018 Fiano di Avellino Tognano is an understated beauty, as it opens slowly with a delicate display of honeyed flowers, chamomile, and white smoke. It takes time in the glass for notes of lemon oil, nectarine and minty herbs to evolve. This fills the palate with soft, pliant textures and ripe orchard fruits complemented by notes of almond paste, as a reverberation of saline-minerals generates toward the close. The 2018 Tognano leaves the moth watering, while it slowly fades from the senses with notes of sweetened sun tea and a salty flourish.
With fruit grown in the sandy, volcanic-ash soils of the Avellino province, the Rocca del Principe 2017 Fiano di Avellino Tognano is a beautifully fragrant and pure expression of the Fiano grape that really gets down to the basics. The wine shows fresh fruit aromas of peach and white flower, all framed delicately by ash and crushed river stone. This wine is quite delicate and fresh, but it definitely excels in terms of its purity. This was a release of about 3,000 bottles.
Luminous straw-green. Minty herbs, nectarine and stones on the bright, fresh nose. Clean and lively flavors similar to the aromas convey outstanding clarity and cut. Finishes long and pure, with hints of peppery ginger and minerals. Outstanding Fiano di Avellino from a recognized master of the variety and 100-year-old plants - a winning combination. I am glad to find that Tognano, in this vintage at least, speaks more than it has in the past of both the Fiano variety and the Arianello terroir, as opposed to winemaking methods such as extended lees contact, the yeasty-herbal character of which dominated previously.
Released one year (or more) later than its peers, the 2016 Fiano di Avellino Tognano shows more depth and structure than the lower-tier Fiano released by Rocca del Principe (from the 2017 vintage). This has to do with the two very different vintages—the more balanced 2016 and the hotter 2017 vintage—as much as it has to do with this wine's extra year of bottle age. However, at its core, this wine offers easygoing aromas of citrus, white peach and crushed mineral. Fruit comes from 28-year-old vines in the Contrada Tognano in Lapio. A mere 3,000 bottles were made.
Tognano comes from Contrada Arianiello, one of the highest and most suited village sites for the Fiano grape, where Rocca del Principe owns 10ha -five of which are Fiano vines. The wine is focused on delicate minerality with a slightly petrolly aroma, possibly due to the warm 2015 vintage. It's lemony in flavour with an outstanding savoury, black olive complexity and depth. Taut and vibrant, it would be the perfect match for spaghetti with clams.
The 2015 Fiano di Avellino Tognano shows a rich, creamy and more mature flavor profile. This is a soft, lean to mid-weight white with abundant tones of stone fruit, melon, sweet almond and salty mineral. The mouthfeel is round and supple. Tognano is macerated on the skins for 12 hours and aged on the lees with frequent stirring for 12 months. That's how the wine gets its pretty texture. Some 3,000 bottles were made.
Golden-tinged straw-yellow. Potpourri and sweet spices complicate yellow apple and apricot on the nose and palate. Dense and savory, with a tactile component on the long peppery finish. Less fruity and floral thanthe 2016 Fiano di Avellino, and deeper but less concentrated and layered than the 2015 Fiano Tognano. Though I realize Tognano is an important Fiano cru, the wine seems to me (in this vintage, at least) to speak more of the winemaking - such as a much longer stay on the lees, for example - than of the specific terroir.
Made from 100% Aglianico, the most noble of southern Italian red grape varieties, coming from the Contrada Campore vineyard. The Taurasi Aurelia is aged 24 months in oak, followed by an additional 12 in bottle, resulting in a complex and well-balanced wine with excellent aging potential. The nose offers typical aromas of dried cherry, black licorice, tobacco and dried herbs while the full mouth is supported by linear tannins and smoky mineral notes for a lingering, spicy finish.
The 2019 Taurasi Aurelia blossoms in the glass with an attractive mix of dusty rose and extic spice, complementing medicinal blackberry and hints of dark chocolate. It smooths over the palate in silky waves, with ripe red and black fruits underscored by saline minerals and hints of sour citrus. The 2019 finishes with a bitter twang and grippy yet maintains a lovely freshness through a bump of residual acidity. It will take some time to integrate its oak and tannins, but it will be time well spent.
The 2017 Taurasi Aurelia is deep and rich, with masses of black cherries, plums and tobacco complemented by cloves, cinnamon and a lifting hint of mint. This is elegant in feel, casting silky textures with ripe red and black berries across the palate, giving way to sweet and savory spices, and fine tannins that slowly saturate. There’s so much intensity and concentration here that you hardly realize just how structured and youthfully clenched the 2017 Aurelia is today, as hints of bitter dark chocolate and salted licorice slowly fade. Don’t be fooled by its decadent bouquet and vivid fruit; this sleeping giant needs cellaring to show its best.
The 2016 Taurasi Aurelia shows the more earthy and animal characteristics of Taurasi, as musky black cherry gives way to savory herbs and mineral tones, with balsamic spice and hints of sous bois. It floods the palate with silky textures, which are quickly contrasted by sour cherry, yet gaining energy and lift as vibrant acids stimulate the senses. The finish is long and structured with an acid twang, showing all the qualities of a young Taurasi that’s geared for the cellar, as its spicy red fruits slowly fade.
Deep ruby-red. The extremely perfumed nose of ripe strawberry jam and red cherry is nicely lifted by sweet Oriental wood and spices. Dense, rich and juicy, offering tarry flavors of plum, blackberry and grilled herbs, complicated by soy sauce and Szechuan pepper. Very rich and deep, with harmonious acidity nicely extending the flavors on the back end. A single-vineyard wine, made with grapes grown at 500 meters above sea level in the Campore contrada in Lapio, spending 12 months in barriques, followed by another year in used 20-hectoliter barrels, then another 24 months in bottle prior to going on sale. Clocks in at 14% alcohol, but it's so balanced that nobody will notice the high octane level. This is a truly outstanding and still very young Taurasi.
Deep ruby. Fresh aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry and herbs. Juicy acidity provides lift, clarity and cut. From the Campore contrada in Lapio (a hot site that is, in my view, quite good for Aglianico and less so for Fiano), this spends 12 months in once-used barriques and once-used 20-Hl barrels, then another 24 months in bottle prior to release.