It sounds like a rolling title of a soap opera but if it helps to highlight such an important concept, let it be: “Even whites can age”… well!
I discussed about it recently when I visited the winery Nifo Sarrapochiello located in Sannio area, province of Benevento and known for its super white Falanghina as well as the red Aglianico del Taburno, one of the 4 DOCG in Campania region southern Italy (top classification in Italy). It happened on the occasion of the tour organized by the active Consortium of Sannio and part of the wider tour planned for the winners of the FBA2016 launched by Malvarosa Publisher, when I spent 2 days at this winery: Nifo Sarrapochiello. We discussed in front of well 4 different versions of the local white Falanghina: the sparkling one (Charmat method), the Organic version (as written on the label: “Bio”), the classic Falanghina del Sannio DOC, till my favorite one, called “Alenta“: a late harvest with more intensity and complexity and balance!
We made several reflections but I would like to focus on 2 of them:
- The versatility of this italian indigenous grape: Falanghina and its pleasantness that, especially abroad, it is too often considered “easy drinking” and nothing more: FALSE
- the importance, even for such a fresh and often ‘young’ wine like Falanghina, to wait for a little longer avoiding to drink it only a few months after the harvest! TRUE
It is still a common practice, for restaurant managers and consumers, to ask for the last vintage at the beginnig of the new year; while, for the most of the whites, it is warmly suggested to wait at least (at least) the spring-summer season (I would say even more in many cases). This italian wine “Alenta” (this is just the fantasy name) is a perfect demonstration as in November 2016 I had the vintage 2014 also thanks -in this case- to the late harvest and a longer maturation (that includes wood too) which make it perfectly pleasant and with still a good potential for aging!
[Without even mentioning big and classic names that are more than 2 or 3 years old!]
For those who are curious to know more, please find here the wine notes of Alenta – Falanghina Del Sannio Vendemmia Tardiva D.O.C.: on the nose it is powerful with aromas of pear’s peel, candied lemon and herbs as well as a big minerality. On the palate it is absolutely round, intense with a perfectly balanced acidity and a long finish which recalls dried fruits and a slight smoky note. Good the texture too.