2013 Summer Holidays – Campania – Part 2 – Piedirosso/Lacryma Christi

This is the second installment of tasting notes from my summer vacation in Southern Italy, introduced here: https://oleudsenwineblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/2013-summer-holidays-intro/

At this sitting, we tasted our way through a number of wines from:

Piedirosso/Lacryma Christi

Piedirosso is normally considered a blending variety, but recent years have seen a revaluation of this lovely variety, in part due to improved growing methods to alleviate its somewhat pernickety nature. On its own, it is capable of rendering fruity, highly juicy/sapid, lively and enormously drinkable red wines. As a blending variety, it is well suited to soften the austerity, acidity and tannins of aglianico, and as such features in many wines across Campania, including the wines of the Salerno area and of Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio. Where it is not necessarily possible to phenolically ripen aglianico before sugars become insanely high, such as on the Amalfi coast, piedirosso will often make up the majority of a blend, with the aglianico added to provide a bit of power, depth and structure to the more light-hearted piedirosso, without the slight phenolic unripeness becoming a problem. Piedirosso is very much still the subject of some very rustic winemaking, but I predict that we will see many lovely drinking wines from it in the decades to come.

Sorrentino Lacryma Christi Vigna Lapillo 2012
Delicious, juicy nose, lots of berries, slightly spicy. Round, juicy. 87

Iovino Piedirosso 2012
Sapid/juicy, red-fruited, light spiciness. Juicy, dry. 85

Sorrentino Piedirosso Versacrum 2012
Darkly fruity, with hydrocarbon minerality, juicy. Juicy, slightly drying tannins. Good stuff. 86

Contrada Salandra Piedirosso 2012
Dark berries, hydrocarbons. Juicy, spicy. 85

Agnanum Piedirosso 2012
Sweet berries (strawberry), juicy. OK, but lacks a bit of acidity. 85

Grotta del Sole Piedirosso 2012
Juicy, delicious berry fruit, slight spiciness. Mouth perhaps not quite clean, but OK. 85

Astroni Piedirosso Rays 2010
Dark spices and high-toned fruit on the nose. Juicy and OK in the mouth. 85

La Sibilla Piedirosso Vigne Storiche 2012
Tobacco and dark berries on the nose. Juicy, with slightly drying tannins. 85

Several of my favourites within eg Lacryma Christi were not participating in the tasting, but we nonetheless saw a good number of very drinkable wines. Winemaking differences apart, I seemed to sense some quite perceptible differences among the various areas these wines hailed from. I will have to try and find out at some later time whether there are some lessons and generalisations to be drawn in terms of terrotorial diversity.

Yours truly

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