Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Wines of Campania: Donna Chiara Wines at Il Gattopardo

photo above by Alan Watts from Eat Italian

Last week Ilaria Petitto from Donna Chiara Winery guided us through an evening of tastings from the Campania region of Italy at Il Gattopardo, a fantastic Campanian restaurant in NYC owned by the legendary Gianfranco Sorrentino. The winery is located in Montefalcione, a small town in Avellino, where her family has been since 1885. Winemaking is a family tradition, tied closely to the land, where typical white wines like Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino are well structured and long aging, as well as tasty reds like Aglianico and Taurasi. Ilaria pointed out "It is said that Taurasi is the Barolo of the south, but in fact can be better, after all Aglianico is a much more ancient grape than Nebbiolo."

Here are my tasting notes along with the wonderfully paired menu:

Donna Chiara Sante Spumante Brut IGT
a sparkling 100% Falanghina, made using the Martinotti lungo method of fermentation to maintain traditional flavors of the region, fine perlage (smaller, more numerous bubbles), floral aromas, fresh fruit, citrus, minerality and a tropical bouquet.

Paired with arancini di risotto con piselli, mozzarella e sugo di vitelli, bruschetta di fiocco di burrata e basilico.

Donna Chiara Falanghina Beneventano IGT
Fermented for 40 days, straw yellow colors, toasty, pineapple, buttery smooth, even toned, beautiful full bodied, good minerality and acidity and long aging potential.

Donna Chiara Fiano d'Avellino DOCG
2 month fermentation using wild yeasts, vulcanic soils giving layered texture, late harvest imparts an intense ripeness, showing in the aromatics of dried fruit, pear, apple, mild acidity, smooth and long finish.

Both paired with parmigiano di zucchini con provola e salsa al pomodoro.

Donna Chiara Aglianico IGT 2008
No oak touches this one, aged 6 months in bottle, light, fruit aromas, a palate of sour raspberry, glycerine, blackberry, and sour cherries linger on the finish.

Donna Chiara Irpinia 2008 DOC
6 months in French oak, using wild yeasts, structure & body, non-filtered, touch of oak (2nd and third usage barrels not so aggressive). Medium to full body, cherries, prunes, spice, glycerine, raspberry. Charles Scicolone, (a passionate oak-hater) commented on how these reds did not exhibit much oak)

Both reds paried with paccheri alla genovese napoletana

Donna Chiara Taurasi 2007 DOCG
12 months in French barrique, non filtered, ruby violet colors, bouquet of beautiful raspberry and blackberry aromas, with chocolate undertones, ending with a delicious long finish.

Carre d'agnello arrosto con patate e spinaci saltati.

Greco di Tufo DOCG
Apricot, summer fruits, pear lemon rind, pineapple and a fresh finish.


Campania is truly a diverse region with lots to offer. I suggest you try to experience some of their wonderful foods and wines here in the Big Apple or on your next trip to... Campania.

For another perspective on the event see Charles Scicolone On Wine


Eric Guido said...

NICE! Sounds like a great dinner. The food looks really good.

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