Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

oenopole trade tasting (2/4): Camerlengo

with one comment

Trained as an architect, the ebullient Antonio Cascarano switched to farming in 2000 in order to save his grandparents’ three-hectare estate, Camerlengo (“chamberlain”), which is located in the commune of Rapolla, near the village of the same name, on the northeast flank of Monte Vulture in northern Basilicata. There he grows grapes, chestnuts and olives (for reportedly excellent oil) in volcanic soil that’s rich in silica and potassium. The relatively high altitude (400–500 m) ensures a large difference between day and night temperatures, one of the keys to maintaining acidity in grapes. All farming is organic and practices in the cellar are as non-interventionist as possible.

IGP Basilicata 2011, Accamilla, Camerlengo
The first vintage of Antonio’s first orange wine. A blend of Malvasia (70%), 10% Santa Sofia (aka Fiano) and 20% other local grapes, fermented with native yeasts and made like a red wine, with extended maceration on the skins and pips. Aged in chestnut botte. 12% ABV. This sample was drawn from the barrel a couple of days before the tasting; the finished wine will be available from oenopole this spring.
Hazy tawny yellow. Nose of straw, sun-baked stones, yellow fruit and dried flowers. Lighter and more fluid than expected. Savoury and dry, with summery fruit and sprightly acid. Soft tannins and a floral note emerge on the long finish. Delicious.

Aglianico del Vulture 2009, Antelio, Camerlengo ($25.95, oenopole)
100% Aglianico from 30-year-old vines. Manually harvested in late October and early November. Fermented with native yeasts, macerated 25 days. Matured in a 50-hl Slavonian oak botte. Unfiltered and unfined. Lightly sulphured on bottling for stability during transportation. 13% ABV.
Rich ruby maroon. Initial rubber blows off leaving red fruit, slate/graphite and hints of dusky flowers and spice. Medium- to full-bodied. The fruit is rich and sweet, devoid of heaviness, rooted in earth and minerals. The tannins – just a little raspy – are especially apparent on the finish. More upfront, less layered and long than the Camerlengo; then again it’s $12 cheaper and available. The wine’s refined rusticity made it a great pairing for lamb breast braised with tomato and white beans.

Aglianico del Vulture 2006, Camerlegno, Camerlengo ($37.75, oenopole, NLA)
100% Aglianico from 40-year-old vines. Manually harvested in late October and early November. Fermented with native yeasts, macerated 25 days. Matured in a mix of second, third and fourth vintage French oak barriques. Unfiltered. Lightly sulphured on bottling for stability during transportation. 13% ABV. Unfortunately for us, oenopole’s entire shipment has been snapped up by local restaurateurs.
Unusual, delicious nose: red fruit, spice, floral (musk rose?), stones, hints of tobacco. Smooth, medium- to full-bodied. The slim core of sweet fruit is underpinned by mostly resolved tannins, giving the wine a supple, velour-like texture. A faint astringency marks the lingering, savoury finish. Lovely. Among the most elegant Aglianicos I’ve tasted.

Advertisements

Written by carswell

November 6, 2012 at 18:50

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] to write, but I wanted to flag today’s release at the SAQ of a wine I and many others enjoyed last November, when it was available as a private import from oenopole. The intervening nine months have done it […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s