There are countless producers and wines that rank among the very best in the world, yet many of these are so limited in production and/or come from a territory that’s not famous. That’s often the case with the Italian wine industry and these hidden gems can be found in virtually every one of the country’s 20 regions.
One of my favorites is a red wine called Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco from Nanni Copè, a producer located in the province of Caserta in northern Campania. The proprietor is Giovanni Ascione – Nanni is a nickname for Giovanni – and this is the only red wine he produces (he also crafts a tiny amount of Fiano), but what a wine!
Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco – the name refers to the fact that the vineyard is situated above a forest – is made primarily from a local indigenous variety called Palagrello Nero; there is also a small amount of Casavecchia, another indigenous variety, blended in the wine (the vineyard sourced for the Casavecchia is 125 years old!). From time to time, a small percentage of Aglianico, Campania’s most famous red variety, is also included in the blend.
This wine has become something of an obsession for Ascione, and when you listen to him talk about his vines, it’s as though he knows every detail about every plant; he can tell you about the differences in pruning, leaf management, and harvesting techniques for every plot.
The wine was first produced from the 2008 vintage, and it was an immediate success; Italian wine critics heaped praise on the distinctiveness and complexity of this wine. The raves for this wine have not stopped, and the newly released 2016, which I tasted recently, is another superb wine. Medium-full with excellent ripeness and flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and licorice, the wine has a rich mid-palate and outstanding persistence; the finish goes on an on. There is good acidity – this has been true for every release of this wine – and the tannins, which are quite rich, are well managed, as they do not overwhelm the fruit. The complexity is simply amazing, as is the overall harmony.Fonte: Tom Hyland - Forbes