Radici del Sud 2012 – Tasting Notes – Azienda Agricola I Favati

Another small Campanian producer whose wines I had not tasted before. The property is owned by the Favati family and includes 10 hectares of vineyard, 5 of which are in the noted vineyard called Pietramara, at an altitude of some 450 metres. The location is in the inland Irpinia zone, which provides a fairly continental climate with cold winters and warm summers, often with large thermal excursions between day and night. The wines from this area are famous: Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo and Taurasi, and I Favati make all of them plus a sparkling wine.

This producer, like so many others, is a recent entrant on the market, having made its first wine destined for bottling under its own name in 2000. As such, it forms part of the recent wave of smalll, artisanal wine producers in Campania. Production is around 60,000 bottles a year.

It is my impression that I Favati concentrate much of their efforts on the white wines, which also dominated what they had brought along for the tasting. Tasting notes:

Fiano di Avellino Pietramara 2011

Classical, slightly yeasty nose with soap, sage and apple. Fresh and with good acidity in the mouth. OK length with soap, sage, almonds.

Fiano di Avellino Pietramara Etichetta Bianca 2010

The must spent some 24 hours with the skins for maximum flavour extraction. Quite deep nose with apples, peaches, yeast and herbs. Equally deep in the mouth, intense, mild and slightly bitter. Good length with minerals, soap and herbs. A powerful specimen, destined for long ageing.

Greco di Tufo Terrantica 2011

Classical nose with peach, apple, wax, sage, slight almond. Juicy in the mouth, with good acidity. Good length with minerals, waxy fruit and sage.

Greco di Tufo Terrantica Etichetta Bianca 2010

Broad, round, delicious nose with gravenstein apples, peaches, wax, sage and minerals. Broad in the mouth, good acidity, juicy, delicious fruitiness. Long and minerallly, repeating the aromas on the nose. Yet another lovely wine with definite ageing potential.

Irpinia Campi Taurasini Cretarossa 2008

This is 100% aglianico, and according to the Favatis has spent all of 3 years in small and medium-size wood. The nose has dark berries, barrique toast/coffee, tar, slight spiciness and flowers. Mild and soft in the mouth. OK length with barrique toast, tar, spices, berries and noticeable wood tannins. While clearly made from rather superior raw materials, I must admit that my prejudice against the aromas and flavours of new and toasted wood makes me think that this wine has been somewhat ruined. I would have loved to have seen a more raw wine with less make-up from those raw materials. However, given my non-existing experience with how I Favati’s wines age, I cannot exclude that much of the new wood flavour might dissipate with time and the terroir may then emerge.

Taurasi Terzotratto 2007

Same winemaking methods as for the Cretarossa. Lots of new wood character on the nose, but underneath it small dark berries, good fruit sweetness and flowers. Firm, juicy and mild in the mouth. Good length with new wood, dark berries, garrigue, slight tobacco, flowers. Another wine dominated by the wood treatment. What a pity, for I sense lovely raw materials with great terroir and varietal typicity underneath. Let’s hope this shrugs off the wood after some time.

I Favati make clean, well-made, non-oxidized wines from excellent raw materials. At the moment I am very happy with the white wines and their prospects for ageing, while I have severe doubts as to whether the red wines will ever lose the rather overdone new wood character. I sense that all the requirements for making great wines are here, and perhaps with a bit more confidence on behalf of the terroir, the red wines will become somewhat more honest and terroir-driven in future.

Yours truly


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