Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

Campania 2 – Furore and Montevetrano

Sadly, our attempt at a visit to Marisa Cuomo’s vineyards, perched high above the Costa d’Amalfi, did not come off.  But at least we visited the spectacular town of Furore, climbed the steeps steps which go straight up from the sea to the town and stayed in a B&B to die for – carved out of the rock over the sea, with the sound of the waves from our own little terrace and window ( ).  The evening and night views of nearby Praiano were exceptional – with or without special effects.

The B&B also runs another, equally well-positioned, establishment in Praiano and offers a free transfer service to its restaurant there.  This gave us a chance to try Marisa Cuomo’s wine with dinner.  The ‘plain’ Furore Bianco, Costa d’Amalfi DOC 2008 is a brilliant wine.  Made of 80% Falanghina and 20% Biancolello it has a powerful nose of flowers and then white peaches; initially rounded in the mouth, it has a lively and persistent acid finish.  With time it develops mineral notes in the glass.  Really individual, lively Falanghina.

Marisa Cuomo’s stand at Vinitaly 2010 buzzed with people all wanting to taste, to meet the family, to exchange views.  At it was wonderful to catch up with her and to see what all the fuss is about. It’s not just the spectacular landscape and vines growing on the steep hills above the Mediterranean, it’s about wines that couldn’t really come from anywhere else.

  • Fiorduvo, Furore Bianco 2008, made with Falanghina and Biancolella grapes, an Ischian speciality, here just across the water from Capri.  It needs some time in the glass but then opens up with lime, macchia, very dense fruit, savoury and complex
  • Furore rosso 2008:  an Aglianico and Piedirosso blend, made to drink young, with 2-3 months in second passage barrels.  A red of character, herby, very persistent.
  • Ravello riserva 2006: This 70% Piedirosso and 30% Aglianico, a year in barriques and three in the bottle.  Deep, dark red fruit, full of earth and mid-red fruit, excellent

IMG_3942Our first winery visit in October 2009 was to a real outsider, Montevetrano, near Salerno – an outsider because decades ago the Signora decided that she liked the wines of Bordeaux and so decided to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, alongside the typical Aglianico.  We were shown around by the cantiere who explained the small scale production as well as the 80% clay Campania 2 – Furore and Montevetranosoil with good water retention which helps in this hot part of the world.  Everything is aimed at quality – canopy management with mathematical exactness (number of leaves per bunch of grapes) and French oak barriques, 50% new, 50% second year every year.  The decision was also made to make just one, single wine – as the cantiere said, if we made a second wine it would have either to be better or worse … and if they had a second it would  be white.  And, one might add, if you can sell all your wine as a top wine, why bother with a second.

As la Signora was away there was no tasting of this classy wine.  But our hosts generously gave us two bottles to take away – the current vintage, 2007, very well received in the 2010 edition of I vini d’Italia, and the now mature 2001, so a great tasting awaits.

Again we were able to taste the wine at Vinitaly 2010 and were warmly welcomed by the owner.

Montevetrano 2008: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Aglianico, not released yet but will be from September 2010.  A very young and classic Cabernet nose, great blackcurrant and red fruit nose, then a huge mouthful of excellent fruit and some herbs, so much potential, extremely long, resounding acidity.  Excellent.

Montevetrano 2007: still a very good wine but rather sharper, suffered a bit from rain just before the harvest – 10 Sept for the Merlot, end of September for Cabernet, first week of October for Aglianico.  Needs time.

Campania 2 – Furore and Montevetrano

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