The Campania region of Italy should have a place in the hearts of all wine lovers who cherish variety. When the Italian government was encouraging growers throughout the country to plant the easy-sell Sangiovese and Montepulciano, pushing many local varieties to the brink of extinction, a small number of plucky winemakers decided to buck the trend. And thanks to those heroes, we can all still enjoy the likes of Fiano and Greco.
Well done to Sainsbury’s too, for being brave enough to put the (still quite unfamiliar) Greco in its range, and for designing such a wonderful label and bottle. A lovely image that evokes the rural south of Italy, and for anyone who buys wines because of a pretty label, they really wouldn’t be going wrong here.
The volcanic soil in this part of the world is often expressed beautifully by Greco, and despite the sensible price, this example is no exception. For anyone who doubts the importance of soil type, and its ability to impart distinct flavours, this is a must try. This Greco di Tufo has a delightful minerality, overlain with an edgy, slight pithy, lemon flavour. It’s rich, without being heavy, and has a long, satisfying finish. The acidity level is also just about right to match the intensity of flavour and the medium body, giving an overall sense of balance.
The current vintage just took away a Gold medal at the 2014 International Wine Challenge. And I can see why. It’s a good buy at the usual price of £8.99, and a steal when on offer at anything less than that.