27 excellent southern Italian red wines of 2016

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Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello

A selection of the Italian oenological treasures: 27 of the best red wines from autochthon southern Italian grapes received the most prestigious awards. Four influential guides have been “analyzed” by Famedisud

by Ferruccio Cornicello

italia“Wine, vine and wine-producing areas, as the fruit of labor, skills, knowledge, practices and traditions, are a national cultural heritage to be protected and enhanced socially, economically, productively, environmentally, and culturally.” (Art 1, Unified code on wine, 2016.) These words contained in the first article of the new Unified code on wine clearly summarize the age-old wine culture of Italy, first wine producer in the world according to the latest statistics. One of the most important sectors in the Italian production, it has a total turnover of more than 14 billions, and an export turnover of more than 5,5 billions. The new law (90 articles) aims to make it more competitive by simplifying the current legislation, as for a long time desired by experts. The numerous innovations introduced relate to the protection against counterfeiting, the recovery of heroic vineyards [those situated on steep lands, above 500 meters, on terracing, or on small and historical islands], the recognition of Italian native grape or “Italic vine”. Famedisud has selected some of the great red wines that four influential guides awarded in 2016.

Sixteen red wines first-classified in various national and international categories, chosen by two juries of experts during the 11th edition of Radici Wines 2016 – Exhibition of wines from southern autochthon grapes (Italy has around 700 varieties), the most important event dedicated to the southern grape varieties, which takes place in the South of Italy, in Puglia. That was a record edition with 432 wines in competition (a total of 80 winning wines), the participation of 183 producers (23 from Sicilia, 18 from Calabria, 16 from Basilicata, 32 from Campania and 94 from Puglia). The 16 top wines are produced in Puglia (6), Campania (3), Sicilia (3), Calabria (2), and Basilicata (2).

- Ottagono, Castel del Monte DOCG, Nero di Troia vine, year 2013, Azienda Torrevento – Puglia

- Gran Tiati Gold Vintage, Puglia IGT – Nero di Trioia vine – year 2010, Azienda Cantine Teanum – Puglia

- Copertino, DOC Rosso Riserva – Negramaro vine and, in minor parts, Malvasia Nera and Montepulciano vines – year 2008, Azienda Cupertinum – Antica Cantina del Salento 1935 – Puglia

- Vecchio Sogno, Salento IGT, Negroamaro vine, year 2014, Azienda Tenuta Giustiniani – Puglia

- Primitivo, Puglia IGP, Primitive vine, year 2013, Azienda Pietregiovani – Puglia

- Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria DOP, Primitive vine, year 2013, Varvaglione Vigne e Vini – Puglia

- Curma, Sicilia IGT, Nero d’Avola vine, year 2010, Azienda Armosa – Sicilia

- Santa Cecilia, Noto DOC, Nero d’Avola vine, year 2011, Azienda Planeta – Sicilia

- Taurasi S. Eustachio, Taurasi DOCG, Aglianico vine, year 2008, Azeinda Boccella – Campania

- Eruzione 1614, Sicilia DOC, Nerello Mascalese vine, year 2013, Azienda Planeta – Sicilia

- Cirò, Cirò DOP Rosso Classico Superiore, Gaglioppo vine, year 2012, Azienda Cote di Franze – Calabria

- Arcano Riserva, Cirò DOP Rosso Classico Superiore, Gaglioppo vine, year 2009, Azienda Senatore Vini – Calabria

- Rasott, Campi Taurasini DOC, Aglianico vine, year 2012, Azienda Boccella – Campania

- Borgomastro, Colli di Salerno IGP, Aglianico vine, year 2007, Azienda Lunarossa Vini e Passione – Campania

- Likos, Aglianico del Vulture DOC, Aglianico del Vulture vine, year 2012, Azienda Vigne Mastrodomenico – Basilicata

- Il Sigillo, Aglianico del Vulture DOC, Aglianico del Vulture vine, year 2010, Azienda Cantine del Notaio – Basilicata

Five great red wines from southern Italy (9 those from the other regions) evaluated with the highest score (99/99) by the sensory analyst Luca Maroni, who has written the twenty-fourth edition of his 2017 Yearbook of the best Italian wines. In order to assess the quality of the wines awarded, the guide combines the three basic organoleptic parameters common to every wine, namely consistency, balance, and integrity. Each parameter determines the Index of Pleasantness (IP) designed by the author, and receives a score (max 33 per parameter) up to a maximum of 99, which indicates a wine “that is the embodiment of fruitiness, that is the pleasantness.”

- Edizione Cinque Autoctoni – Montepulciano 33%, Primitivo 30%, Sangiovese 25%, Negramaro 7%, Malvasia 5% – producing-area: Notaresco, Ortona, Sava, Manduria – year 2013, Azienda Farnese Vini (Ortona, CH) – Abruzzo

- Moltepulciano d’Abruzzo Janù DOC – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 85 %, Cabernet 15% – year 2013, Azienda Jasci & Marchesani (Vasto, CH) – Abruzzo

- Eremo San Quirico Aglianico Campi Taurasini DOC – Aglianico in purity – year 2013, Azienda Nativ (Partenopoli, AV) – Campania

- 62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria DOP Riserva– Primitive in purity – year 2013, Azienda Cantine San Marzano (San Marzano di San Giuseppe, TA) – Puglia

- Tosone Nero D’Avola Terre Siciliane IGT – Nero d’Avola in purity – year 2015, Azienda Tosone (Salemi, TP) – Sicilia

The excellence award Quattro Viti AIS (95 wine-producers from southern Italy out of 516 Italian ones), assigned by the Italian Sommelier Association to the best Italian wines from the guide Vitae 2017 (to compile it, 22 regional committees and 4,000 wine-producers have been involved, and 35,000 wines tasted), went to 5 great red wines of South Italy. The Association also gave them the prestigious and coveted award Tastevein seal. They are wines with a particular value, “wines that have contributed to the rediscovery of forgotten grape varieties, that have represented an innovative breakthrough, or that have been able to turn themselves into a point of reference for their own territory.” The winning wines are produced in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise, Puglia, and Sardegna.

- Neromoro Riserva, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo vine, year 2012, Azienda Nicodemi – Abruzzo

- Don Anselmo, Aglianico del Vulture vine, year 2012, Azienda Paternoster – Basilicata

- Tintilia Molise, Tintilia vine, year 2013, Azienda Terresacre – Molise

- Graticciaia, Negroamaro vine, year 2012, Azienda Agricole Vallone – Puglia

- Antonio Argiolas 100, Cannonau and Malvasia Nera vine, year 2012, Azienda Argiolas – Sardegna

Finally, the current edition of Guida Oro I Vini di Veronelli 2017, edited by Gigi Brozzoni and Daniel Thomases, reports the only red wine, produced in Sicilia, which obtained the highest score, 98 out of 99, in the already highly selected but extensive wine category Super Tre Stelle (67 wines from Southern Italy, 277 wines from the other regions). The guide gives this recognition to wines that have obtained a score of at least 94 in the current edition, and have also occupied top positions in the past year; in such a way wines are valuable due to their qualitative constancy.

Etna Rosso DOC Prephylloxera la Vigna di Don Peppino, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio vine, year 2014, Azienda Terre Nere, Contrada Calderara, Randazzo (CT) – Sicilia


Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello

For further details:

– AA. VV. Vinum nostrum. Arte, scienza e miti del vino nelle civiltà del Mediterraneo antico, Catalogo dell’omonima mostra, Firenze Museo degli Argenti – Palazzo Pitti 20 luglio – 2010 – 30 aprile 2011, Giunti Editore, Firenze, 2010, 384 p.

– AA. VV., La Vigna di Dioniso. Vite, vino e cultura in Magna Grecia, Catalogo della mostra, Bari, Palazzo Simi 18 maggio – 20 novembre 2011, Scorpione Editrice, Taranto, 2010, 133 p.

– Associazione Italiana Sommelier, Vitae. Guida Vini 2017, Associazione Italiana Sommelier, Milano, 2016, 2039 p.

– Gigi Brozzoni – Daniel Thomases, Guida Oro. I vini di Veronelli 2017 , Seminario Permanente Luigi Veronelli, Bergamo, 2016, 1128 p.

– Maria Luisa Catoni, Bere vino puro. Immagini del simposio, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2010, 505 p.

– Fabio Giavedoni, Maurizio Gily (a cura di), Guida ai vitigni d’Italia. Storia e caratteristiche di 700 varietà autoctone, Bra (CN), Slow Food Editore, 2016, 688 p.

– Luca Maroni, Annuario dei migliori vini italiani 2017, Sens, Formello (RM), 2016, 1116 p.

– Giovanni Negri, Elisabetta Petrini, Roma Caput Vini. La sorprendente scoperta che cambia il mondo del vino, Milano, Mondadori, 2011, 204 p.

– Mauro Rosati, Atlante Qualivita 2015 Food&Wine. I prodotti agroalimentari e vitivinicoli italiani DOP IGP STG. Le bevande spiritose IG italiane, Siena, Fondazione Qualivita, 2015, 960 p.

– Antonio Calò, Angelo Costacurta, Attilio Scienza, Vitigni d’Italia. Le varietà tradizionali per la produzione di vini moderni, Bologna, Edagricole, 2006, 920 p.

– Attilio Scienza (a cura di), Atlante geologico dei vini d’Italia, Firenze, Giunti, 2015, 360 p.

– Andrea Zanfi, Attilio Scienza, Italia. Terre di vino, Prato, SeB Editori, 2016, 725 p.



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