WAIT! DON’T LET THIS LENGTHY, SEEMINGLY COMPLICATED NAME DETER YOU! THIS IS YOUR NEW PIZZA WINE! Oh my, not that we treat ourselves to pizza frequently, but the other day we splurged on one of Del’s (Fair Oaks) thin crusted pepperoni, mushroom and artichoke…..then added our own fresh tomatoes, arugula, kalamata olives and anchovies (for me)! Typically, this is when we lean to a youthful Barbera, or Chianti Classico, or Rosso di Montalcino. And that is exactly what we did…..However, we also had a sample vial of this new Mastroberadino Piedirosso….so we opened it too…..AND IT STOLE THE SHOW! You know it’s little wonder…..this is NAPLES country…..home of the modern day pizza, and where the traditional Neapolitan pizza are the Margherita and Marinara!! Check out the history and recipe here.
And if you have not visited Naples or if you are planning to do so, must reading is Chapter 5 – “Naples” in Roads & Kingdoms “Pasta Pane Vino”, by Matt Goulding
One whiff and you just know you drinking southern Italy by this wine’s elegant rusticity. Predominantly Piedirosso, but up to 20% Aglianico is allowed by law which provides some structure. Fennel and anise immediately come to mind with briar scents of ripe berries and spice surprises. A deceptively deep and “brooding” color, one finds a full bodied and flavored wine. HOWEVER, it is EASY drinking as the plump dark berry and plum fruit bury any evidence of youthful tannins. At the same time, the fresh acidity adds vitality and length to the wine, and meets the cheese, tomato and spicy sausage head on…..a glorious combination of flavors meld…..and you dive in for another “gusto” bite! 12.5% alcohol.
Legend has it that God cried when he found a corner of heaven, above the gulf of Naples, stolen by Lucifer. Where his divine tears fell, the vines of Lacryma Christi were born. The history of the vines is as colorful as its legend; having been produced since the ancient Roman times. It was the monks who popularized the wine in the Middle Ages and gave it its name.
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC is a sub-region situated in the DOC of Vesuvio, where the vineyards are planted below Mt. Vesuvius. The well draining land is nourished with minerals from rich volcanic ash and lapilli (small rock fragments) that have been spewed out from the many volcanic eruptions. The ventilating wines of the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea promotes a healthy climate for the region’s native grapes; Piedirosso and Coda di Volpe. Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio was historically made famous by the Ancient Romans, and owes its fame and name to the monks who, as far back as the Middle Ages, used to produce the free-run juice from the grapes harvested in vineyards in the Vesuvius area.
The Mastroberardino family is largely responsible for the revival and elevation of the native grapes and winemaking traditions of Campania’s remote Irpinian region, following WWII. The efforts and successes of Antonio Mastroberardino’s work ignited a resurgence in quality red and white wine production in all of Southern Italy. His son and current owner, Piero, continues the legacy, spearheading numerous research and revival efforts of bygone Italian viticulture.
Piedirosso (trans. red feet) is the second most planted red variety in Campania after Aglianico. It is used for the production of Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio wines, where it must make up 50% of the blend. Often blended with Aglianico to provide softness, Piedirosso wines tend to be full-bodied with soft tannin.
Manual harvest. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures. Aged in bottle for one month prior to release. Aromas of cherries, plums, raspberries, and black pepper. Refined, light tannins and bright acidity make this a lifting, fruity wine.