Luciano Pignataro, notorius wine journalist, a few years ago wrote a story on Il Mattino (historic and popular newspaper of Napoli) about a 8 years old ‘Greco di Tufo’ (typical white wine of Campania region, in the south of Italy). He meant ‘Greco di Tufo’ of the historic Mastroberardino winery, famous for its “Radici” Taurasi (another typical red wine of this great region: read more on a previous story I wrote here) without, however, neglect the whites which in the south of Italy are numerous and excellent.
I remember it well because in that period I worked for the PR & Press Office of Mastroberardino. Not only, I was there when we launched this “Vintage” line: bottles “forgotten” in the cellar and rediscovered -voluntarily- after a while.
We are in 2010 and Mastroberardino is ready to launch 3 wines: the red wine Aglianico 1998; and then 2 white wines: ‘Greco di Tufo’ and ‘Fiano di Avellino’, both vintage 2002. My calculations are correct: Luciano in the 2010 wrote about that 8 years old ‘Greco di Tufo’!
And I also remember when we studied the label, we were looking for something simple to replace the traditional style of the company and of this new line, then the CEO, Dario Pennino, came up with a proposition in one of our meetings, he took a blank sheet and a pen and said “why do not we do this (scribbling): Vintage lettering like a signature on the label” and so it was, after some tests, the label was ready: simple, elegant, effective (see pic).
The enthusiasm in the company was high, the topic (aged white wines) was (and still is) hot but few other companies could deal with that with such naturalness. Oh yes, because Mastroberardino is able to present a wine tasting of Fiano di Avellino in the 2014 starting right from vintage 2002, oh I am wrong, because Massimo Di Renzo, the enologist at Mastroberardino, with his notorious calm announced a surprise: he had brought a ‘Fiano di Avellino’ 1998!
For this tasting we were in Paestum (Monday the 12th) at the Mozzarella routes, fine food and wine event to promote and discover some more secrets, pairing and curiosities about a product as loved as unique: Mozzarella di Bufala from Campania region (I wrote more about this event in a previous story: read it here). More in details, we were in the space of the event with the english title “Looking for white” created and presented by Luciano Pignataro itself, who, together with Massimo Renzo, and Maria Sarnataro (Sommelier) entertained us in this journey of taste and smell as few.
The tasting was held as follow: Fiano, Vintages 2010 and 2009 in preview (yes, even if today we are used to buy 2/3 years old white wines, those ones are still too young to be worthy of that label); then we had the vintages 2008, 2006, 2002, and as I mentioned 1998!
My favorite? The 2002! Do you think is a matter of emotional connection?!
Wines with an incredible balance, it seems they have aged in wood although they do not; they were elegant wines without any peak of a note rather than another. Good acidity, great smell of mature yellow fruits, and toasted notes in the older vintages.