La Sibilla Campi Flegrei Falanghina 2017
Just north of Naples, right on the coast of Campania, there is a very small grape-growing area called the Campi Flegrei. The soil is so sandy here that the vines can be planted directly in it, without being grafted to other rootstock. Perhaps it is this very unusual fact that makes these wines so distinctive, along with the great care given to the vines and the wine by Luigi di Meo and his family. Since European viticulture was wiped out by the phylloxera insect in the last half of the nineteenth century, there is great nostalgia for the Golden Age of wine made from ungrafted vines. Here is a very rare opportunity for you to taste for yourself. The fact that these vines are ungrafted leads to another very unusual feature: full ripeness at lower alcohol levels. These indigenous grapes, both the white Falanghina* and the red Piedirosso, are picked in October (very late, especially for a warm climate). This allows their flavors to be fully developed, while maintaining low alcohol levels (about twelve per cent in both cases) and excellent fresh acidity. The wines are vinified and aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel, to allow their striking flavors to shine through without being muddied by oak.