John Ducker writes:-
My wine choice for June reflects something of the unusual heat that the strangely capricious British May left in its wake. A wine, and a grape variety with a very ancient pedigree bestowed by the ancient Greeks upon southern Italy. Their establishment of viticulture many centuries ago in the regions of Puglia, Campania and Basilicata particularly has led to a significant number of local wines, or grapes, bearing Greek names to this day. Greciano and Aglianico (a corruption of ‘Hellenico’) are obvious examples and so is Greco di Tufo – my ‘pick’ for the month.
One of the attributes of Greco di Tufo is its insistence in being the servant to the local food of its region, the hillsides of central Campania in this case, and yet I can think of few other wines that I would automatically assign to full-flavoured barbecued shellfish – or even smoked fish – alongside when it would be an ideal foil. (Sorry, delicately poached sole, you don’t stand a chance alongside this dry albeit hearty ancient white wine.)
It might seem a bit far-fetched to call the taste of this wine ‘ancient’, but it certainly reflects its own specific calcareous ‘terroir’. On the eye, the wine is a sunny pure gold, (alright, straw-yellow if you don’t happen to be sitting, as I am, in the sun.) The nose seems winey but relatively neutral although reflecting something of the minerality discovered subsequently on the palate. It is certainly not difficult to conjure up a picture of the heat of the sun-baked vineyards from which this wine eventually sprang. Dry, certainly, somewhat savoury and with a relatively short finish, but none the worse for that given that, in Italy particularly, the food is the star of the show, and that this customer knows exactly how to fit in to a particular taste ‘slot’.
My own choice is therefore Greco di Tufo DOCG 2017 from the well established family run Terradora Diapolo estate, promoted as a wine from ‘Terre di Angeli’ – the land of the angels – and is available at Waitrose for around £15. Tanners Wines, however, sell a more specifically sited Greco di Tufo from the same celebrated establishment at £16.50.
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||Italy (Campania)|
|NAME OF WINE||Greco di Tufo DOCG 2017|
|STYLE||Full-flavoured, dry white|
|PRODUCER||Terradora Estate, Campania|
|RETAILER||Waitrose Ltd. / Tanners Ltd|
|PRICE||£14.99 / £16.50|