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Francesca Fiasco "Ersa" Paestum Rosso '18
Inspired by “Nonno,” Francesca Fiasco set out to create a small winery in Felitto, inside the beautiful green hills of the Cilento national park of Italy. Her grandfather, over 90 years old today, still tends his vines, something I had the chance to witness myself when I visited the winery this past March.
Francesca's parents were not in the wine business, but in recent years Francesca wondered what would happen to the vineyards after her grandparents’ time. She decided to take a chance, building a small cellar at the base of one of his vineyards, and starting her winery in 2016. She enlisted the help of Emiliano Falsini, one of the top consulting winemakers in Italy. Her idea was to make classic reds, barrel aged, and released with some time in bottle. These would be wines that could age and develop, like the other top wines of Salerno.
Since that time, she has become one of Campania’s most talked-about small wineries. She produces tiny quantities of four different wines. “Ersa” is the starting point when tasting Francesca’s wines. It is a blend of Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Barbera as well as small amounts of many other local varieties.
One of Francesca’s main goals when she opened the winery was to release wines that had the proper amount of barrel and bottle aging. While her neighbors might be releasing their 2020 or 2021 reds, she did not want to produce simple, quickly aged wine, released too soon to market. Instead, 2018 is the new release of “Ersa.”
Once the grapes come into the winery, she does a selection of the best bunches. She then presses, with maceration on the skins for 20 days, with punch-downs and pump-overs. She ages the wine in tonneaux for 2 years, most of which is second-use barrels. She then ages the wine in bottle for another eight months before release.
The 2018 “Ersa” is a fantastic red wine value. Beautiful aromas of wild cherry, rhubarb, menthol, and mineral. Medium bodied on the palate, with soft tannins and good freshness. People from Campania are always thinking about food, and wine is part of the experience. Drink this alongside your favorite pizza, or pasta such as fusilli with a wild boar ragù.
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