Beviamoci Sud is the first festival focused on the great reds of Southern Italy held in Rome on February 1st and 2nd, 2020 at the Radisson Blu hotel. Born from the collaboration between the wine journalists Luciano Pignataro and Andrea Petrini along with Marco Cum (of the agency Riserva Grande) and follows the success of the events specifically focused on the king of Southern wines: Aglianico (organized in 2018 and 2019). It is perhaps rhetorical but crucial to underline the value of such an event which guarantees a comparative opportunity among the most important as well as the less known wines of the single region of South of Italy especially if organized in Roma, the capital, which can be easily reached even from abroad. Two days of targeted and thematic seminars along the more classic walk-around-tasting with the opportunity to taste over 300 wines from the regions of Campania, Molise, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Puglia and Lazio.
Here is my top list:
I have had the opportunity to dwell on a lesser known denomination: Atina, focused on international varieties.
- Atina Cabernet DOP 2017 – Antica Tenuta Palombo
Welcoming nose with notes of fresh cranberries, cherry, herbs and paprika. Excellent balance between the rightly ripe fruit and the tannins supported by a refreshing vein and a long finish; a wine with character matured in wood of 2nd and 3rd passage which therefore enriches without impacting the tasting identity
A territory with a mysterious charm that is proudly growing in terms of appreciation: from the best known Cirò of the Ionian coast on the east to the Magliocco of Terre di Cosenza.
- Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore DOC 2016 – Cataldo Calabretta
Thanks also to the refinement in concrete (18 months), it is a modern Cirò that does not surrender to tannic excesses but is lively and savoury. An intriguing nose of coffee and red fruit. On the palate is balanced, and easy-drinking for its nature (as made from the rich and tannic Gaglioppo grape)
- Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC 2015 – A ‘Vita
A more enveloping version of Cirò also due to the oak ageing: a “marine wine”, deep, with a pungent nose that smells of oriental spices and forest floor. On the palate, it is smooth and quite elegant
- “Rossoviola” Magliocco Calabria IGT 2014 – Cantine Viola
A winery especially known for the production of an extraordinary niche Italian sweet wine, Moscato di Saracena, which, among others, also offers this red from Magliocco aged in new and used barrels: more dense and concentrated in the early years but after a few years of ageing in bottle and – not to forget – in such a damp vintage, it offers an easier character. The nose is intense with notes of ripe red fruits, consistent with the sip, that although austere offers greater smoothness than previous tastings
- “Fervore” Magliocco Calabria IGT 2015 – Terre di Balbia
The 2015 vintage, 1 year older of the already released 2016, offers a more refined tasting profile with a succession of balsamic notes, black cherry, cinchona and wild violet. Round wine with personality.
The Merlot from the same company (named “Blandus”) is also intriguing: despite being produced on red soils in a Mediterranean territory such as Calabria, has an unexpected balance that leverages on a vegetable touch, more typical in cool climates
- “Vigna Girapoggio” Paestum Aglianico IGP 2017 – Verrone
Paolo Verrone (owner) has decided, with vintage 2017, to mature its “Vigna Girapoggio” Aglianico in wood: only 3 months in barrels of 2nd passage. The result is remarkable: without distorting the wine, it is deeper than previous vintages only vinified in stainless steel, frank and elegant both on the nose and on the palate with hints of cherry, dried rose and a touch of wet gravel; a less intrusive structure than usual for being an Aglianico
- Colli di Salerno Aglianico IGP: Duemila12 – Mila Vuolo
It is not uncommon to approach mini vertical tastings of the Aglianico of Salerno city by Mila (owner), a sincere expression of the individual vintages. I am struck by 2012 which combines the sometimes-rustic impetuosity of the notorious Aglianico with a fruit ripeness enriched by the tertiary aromas due to the bottle ageing. Suggests quality of tannins and integrity
- “Stilla Maris” Aglianico Campania IGT 2012 – Tenuta Scuotto
A production line pervaded by the dynamism of Adolfo Scuotto (owner) for a young but deeply rooted project. I could mention them all but “Stilla Maris” is the wine I tasted for the first time right here in Rome (on the occasion of “Aglianico in Rome”). Rose, black cherry, tobacco leaves, paprika and pungent puffs of pepper anticipate a very pleasant sip for its silky texture never weighed down thanks to the lively character that invites you to drink again and again
- “Patrimo” Campania rosso IGT 2015 – Feudi di San Gregorio
“The strange case of Merlot in Irpinia” was the explanatory title of the seminar with vertical tasting held on Sunday 2. I loved the 2015 vintage with a particularly fine nose that suggests notes of fresh red berries, refreshing spices, wild violet and mushrooms. Smooth on the palate, with a good structure but never heavy
A small region that grows silently in search of a territorial identity defined by leveraging right on a black grape: the indigenous “Tintilia” with numerous excellent examples.
- Tintilia del Molise DOC 2016 – Tenute Martarosa
Waiting for the 2017, with super expectations, let’s enjoy this pleasant and agile wine with aromas of red fruits, juicy and balanced but with a good body that invites to pair it with food; the flavours are fine and defined; strong personality, long finish
- “Collequinto” Tintilia del Molise Rosato DOC 2018 – Claudio Cipressi
Despite the potential structure and density, Tintilia is also capable of great rosè versions such as the one by Cipressi with a welcoming bouquet offering notes of wild berries and rose water with a savory and delicate palate. Not to be missed some of the older and red versions of Tintilia by the same winery supported by the winemaker Mercurio.