Sannio and Falanghina: New Wine Darlings of Campania – Review Gambero Rosso Tasting at Cibo in Miami

Cibo Wine Bar Miami Beach

Cibo Wine Bar Miami Beach

Last week I attended a trade tasting sponsored by Gambero Rosso and the Consortium for Wines of Sannio at Cibo Wine Bar in Miami Beach.

Wine over Miami – It’s hard work! A moonlit rooftop tasting at one of the best venues in South Beach may not sound like work, but as they say, someone has to do it. And I gladly volunteered.

It was a perfect evening for an alfresco tasting (see photo gallery below) and I learned quite a bit about an area we’ll be visiting this May. I had heard about Sannio but all I knew was that it was somewhere in Campania. Now I know quite a bit.

Sannio is inland so it benefits from the cool mountain breezes- and one of the benefits of this terroir is Falanghina, the predominant white grape produced there. The two other white grapes get all the notoriety: Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino. But Falanghina is on the ascent and what a great white wine it produces.

First off, I discovered that the name Sannio derives from a civilization that predated the Romans,the Samnites. They were the dominant tribe in that area but were eventually subjugated by the Romans. There are several DOC Falanghina del Sannio, depending on the village. But they have a lot in common: deep golden color, flowery aroma and a crisp citrus flavor redolent of lemons.

Marco Sabellico, Senior Editor Gambero Rosso

Marco Sabellico, Senior Editor Gambero Rosso, our lecturer/host for the evening.

What I appreciated most was the richness and fullness of the best; and we tasted the best: four of the 9 wines at the tasting received the highest award from Gambero Rosso 2016, the Tre Bicchieri, the coveted 3 Glasses. All are in the $10/$15 range and great values. They were the:

  • Fontanavecchia Falanghina del Sannio Taburno 2014
  • LaGuardiense Falanghina del Sannio Guardia Sanframondi 2014
  • Terre Stregate Falanghina del Sannio 2014
  • Torre A Oriente Falanghina del Sannio  2012

We also tasted the prototypical red wine from Campania, the Aglianico and a wine called Barbera, but which has nothing to do with the Barbera of Piedmont. We were told that at some point, winemakers decided to call the grape barbera for greater name recognition because they were afraid no one would recognize the auctonomous name.

And we learned that there are many grape varieties that most of us never heard about before. See how many of these you recognize: sommarello, piedirosso, sciascinoso, agostinella, cerreto, coda di volpe, greco, passolara di san Bartolomeo, olivella, carminiello, palombina, moscato di Baselice.

I think you will be very pleasantly surprised by the high quality of wines from Sannio so this is a chance for you to go outside your envelop and try something new, and very good.

We may be exploring some of these gems this April on our wine tour to Campania. Stay tuned.

Image Gallery from the Gambero Rosso: Falanghina / Sannio Campania Wine Master Class at Cibo Wine Bar Miami Beach:

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