When it comes to verbalizing matters of the heart, it’s tough to beat the Italians — particularly when speaking of one of Italy’s most floral and exotic whites, made by one of the country’s most revered producers.
Greco, the Italian white grape variety grown in Campania, was first brought to Italy in the 1st century B.C. by the Pelasgian, an ancient Greek people from the region of Thessaly. An inscription found on an ancient fresco in Pompeii reads “You are truly cold, Bytis, made of ice, if last night not even Greco wine could warm you up.” Such is the aphrodisiacal magic of world-class Greco di Tufo.
It was at Marea on Central Park that we were offered our first taste of Gabriella Ferrara’s stunning Greco di Tufo. Paired with grilled octopus, smoked potatoes, and pickled red onion, drizzled with virgin olive oil, Ferrara’s Greco was magnificent, highlighting without obscuring the smoky saltiness of the dish.
Earlier this month in Santa Monica, it was Kevin O’Connor (co-owner of LIOCO) who treated us to a bottle of Ferrara’s 2014 “Vigna Cicogna” at his restaurant, Aestus, on Wilshire Boulevard. O’Connor, an avid collector, told us he’d been buying Ferrara’s Greco for over 20 years. Paired with Scallops “A La Plancha,” it wasn’t too difficult to understand why.
Gabriella Ferrara and her husband, Sergio, manage this small estate that’s been in the Ferrara family for generations. This 8-hectare planting lies in the district of San Palo within the commune of Tufo, the finest growing region for Greco. Enjoying perfect southern exposure 500 meters above sea level, the microclimate is cool and breezy, at once cleansing and protecting clusters. Curiously, the family’s Greco vineyards, first planted in 1940, sit next to abandoned sulphur mines. Gabriella and her consulting enologist, Paolo Caciorgna, claim the mines impart the extraordinary mineral overtones that so distinguish what most in southern Italy believe to be Campania’s finest Greco di Tufo.
The sensational 2014 Greco di Tufo Vigna Cicogna is brilliant straw-yellow. Terrifically mineral, with vibrant scents of honey, apricot, peach, and ginger. Rich, supple, and juicy on the attack, infused with superb tension, filled with an exotic mix of white peach, pear, and ripe apple, tinged with sweet Tuscan herbs. As always with “Vigna Cicogna,” it’s on the back palate that that Ferrera’s Greco distances itself from the rest — finishing with excellent tension and precision, arguing gracefully for a 7- to 10-year slumber in the coolest of cellars.
92 points from Galloni. A perennial Tre Bicchieri winner. Total production: 2,000 cases, 50 of which have been earmarked for WineAccess. $29 on release. Just $19 this morning. Direct Import, right from the Ferrara family’s cellar in Tufo.
Wonderful Greco do Tufo. Darker gold color. Complex nose of some citrus, honey and spice. The flavored on the palate just exploded, especially on the mid palate. Pears, some citrus, a bit of honey like sweetness, nice acidity. Long finish. We probably drank this too early, we tried it the day it arrived, but if it gets better after it settles down, that will only be a bonus.
This Italian white is a super value stunner. My first exposure to this varietal and I am sold. Beautiful balance and body hitting all the right notes. A new favorite for sure.
Crisp and clean with a long, smooth finish.
This is a great alternative to chardonnay or sauvignon
Complex with a number of flavor levels... served for a group of red wine lovers and they all liked it even though apprehensive to give it a fair tasting at the outset. Each asked for a second full glass... To drink for appreciation or with food... a great offering. I will be ordering more...
I was initially disapointed when I opened the bottle, had a glass and put the rest away. The next day the wine was everything described in the expert review. A great Southern Italian wine, and a terrific example of what this ancient Greek grape varietal is capable of being.
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