Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Weekly Wino: February 16th

I have taken on a new and exciting project. Every week (more or less, you know me by now), I will tackle a wine D.O.C., D.O.C.G, or IGT that I have never tried, or don't remember trying, as the case may be. My sommelier class is on indefinite hold, so I've decided to take matters into my own hands. There's no time like the present, so let's start with this fun little jewel made just south of Napoli.

I've heard about this wine for quite some time. Although Marisa Cuomo may be more famous for her treatment of falanghina (which I have yet to try), I had a mean piece of meat waiting for me at dinner, so Furore Rosso it was. This is a blend of aglianico and piedirosso (piedirosso means "red feet," and this grape is locally called per'e'palummo, or dove's feet) and it carries the Costa d'Amalfi D.O.C. **

I must admit that upon trying Furore Rosso, I was surprised by the lack of tannins that I would normally expect from an aglianico-based wine. The fact that this wine was a young'n' (2005) had me waiting for the typical youthful aglianico tongue-lashing. Instead, I found a nose full of bright cherries, a bit of spice, and an ever-so-soft hint of tannins and youthful acidity.

There was a very tempting bowl of very dark, very fried eggplant on the table. I had my doubts about such a pairing, but this wine was perfect. So good that it also made another helping find its way into my mouth, followed by my thighs, but the trip was well funded by my pure excitement of this surprising symbiosis.

It wasn't until I went in search of the producer's website for a link that I found out why the profile spoke more of piedirosso than aglianico. Its proportions are 70% the former and 30% the latter. HA! My mouth didn't lie to me after all. I am, by now, used to the piedirossos of Ischia and Campania just a bit more north and the beautiful Costiera Amalfitana. As a family, this grape does carry a trademark (cherries! raspberries! pepper! spritz and sass!). Being mixed with just a bit of aglianico (instead of the other way around) it turned into a more a mature expression of itself, taking tannins from the aglianico, but never losing its inner child.

Marisa Cuomo produces a mere 4000 cases per year and the vineyards tenaciously cling to steep hillsides that enjoy a spectacular view of the sea (click here to enjoy the view yourselves). This wine is available in limited quantities in America and should cost around $20. Go find it, fry up some eggplant, and let the wine work its magic.

**Costa d'Amalfi D.O.C. Rosso allows a minimum of 40% piedirosso and a maximum of 60% aglianico and/or sciascinoso. There is a further allowance of "other" red grapes at a maximum of 40%.

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Blogger Sicilian said...

Tracie. . . . I am glad the weekly wino is walking with we wobbly well meaning wine people. You are giving us valuable information. . . . and I miss your posts so much.

2/16/2007 8:11 AM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I assume this wine would be good with a rigatoni, sausage and arugula dish? I am going to look for it at my local wine shop.

2/16/2007 11:11 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

sicilian--youdo?! :)

nyc--yes! yesyesyes...or can buy it here for half the price ;)

2/16/2007 12:36 PM

Blogger De Vino said...

The wine is very good and it is imported in the states, the price is little higher that what you project. It will cost bet 22 and 25 dollars, they also produce a Furore Rosso Riserva and the Furore Bianco like you mention already.
Ciao Tracie

2/17/2007 5:07 PM

Blogger GEWELS said...

So happy I stumbled onto your site. I am going in partnership with a friend and opening up a wine shop/tasting bar here in Md. and am looking for lots of new info. I'll check this out periodically and you can help educate me.

2/18/2007 7:04 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

hi jewels! thanks for visiting...i'll do my best to help you, how exciting for you! send me an email if you want :)

devino--those will come this summer, by a delicious plate of vongole verace

2/18/2007 2:20 PM

Blogger Tony said...

I was born and live in Ischia (Casamicciola Terme), where are you located?


2/20/2007 5:57 AM


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