The fertile soils of Campania, in southern Italy, have been highly prized since the days of the ancient Greeks. While Campania is famous for its agricultural products, such as San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala, the notoriety of its wines isn’t what it deserves to be.
We love championing these types of unheralded regions. So much so that I made it a priority in my 2022 travels to go to Campania, visiting a wide range of producers, all in an attempt to find out what really is going on in the region.
One of the highlight of my trips was my visit with Marenza Pengue of Fosso degli Angeli, in the Sannio Beneventano. Along with her sister Dina and brother in-law Pasquale, they farm 7 hectares of vineyards and 10 hectares of olives. The vineyards are mostly on calcareous clay soils at an average height of about 450 meters above sea level. The family has been farming for three generations, although they did not start producing their own wines until 2009. They proudly farm organically, and in the small winery they work with natural yeast and low levels of sulphur dioxide.
The most famous red grape in Campania is Aglianico, and “Rajete” is a perfect introduction to the variety. Often called the Nebbiolo of the South, Aglianico is a grape with high levels of both acidity and tannin. It is a wine that is structured yet elegant. Producers such as Fosso degli Angeli often make multiple Aglianico bottlings, including one for early drinking, such as this one.
This Aglianico is macerated on its skins in stainless steel for around 30 days, and then matured in tank for a year. We think this incredible value is going to make you an Aglianico believer. Beautiful dark fruit notes, with hints of blackberry, plum, and wild spice. This medium-bodied red has a great combination of fruit, acidity, and soft ripe tannins. Enjoy it with grilled lamb or braised short ribs.
Fosso degli Angeli
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