The Little Grape That Could

Lame del Sorbo 2015
Tintilia del Molise DOC
100% Tintilia
Ripalimosani, Molise, Italy
Organic, indigenous yeasts, guyot trained, dry farmed, green manure, hand picked, not filtered, and NO chemicals
Owner: Rodolfo Gianserra, Agronomist and winemaker: Pierluigi Cocchini, Company’s administrator: Giuseppe Tudino

Deep purple with blue tints. Tart cherries start tickling my nose, then blood orange, kumquat, a few pieces of hay, smokiness, and beautiful berries…raspberries and blueberries. First sip is a sizzle and tingle. Wow! Dark cherry, dried figs, plums, smoke and thyme. As it rolls around there’s Italian Green Cerignola pits, slight hay that I bet will leave and it does and day two was fully gone. When I exhale post sip there’s juniper berries. It’s like forest floor funk meets Riccola, but in a really good delicious way.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: more dried fruit and dark juicy as well

Vinica or VI.NI.CA. was established in 2007 by the above three guys, and the name came from Rodolfo’s 3 kids names: Vittorio, Nicholas and Carola. I love all I’m reading about how they took abandoned land and created this beautiful pure farm/vineyard of 220 hectares (30 hectares for the vineyards, the rest are farm and woodland). They say the only ingredient they have added is healthy grapes. Well, I’m sure they aren’t thinking of the other ingredients of hard work and love. They planted the Tintilia in 2008, and I’m so glad they did. This little indigenous grape (the little grape that could) is only in Molise and received it’s DOC in 2010. It has a history of lower yields than others and potential issues with disease, so there was a worry it might get lost, but Molise (and the agronomist Giuseppe Mogavero) didn’t give up on it and here we are with 11 hectares in Vinica. Kind of gives me goosebumps that I’m tasting a part of Italy I’ve never been, and wants me to hug Rodolfo and Pierluigi for not placing this beautiful wine in oak. Thank you for letting me get to know a small ancient yet new to me grape in its pure form.

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