La Sibilla 2019 Falanghina, Campi Flegrei, Campania, Italy - DECANTsf

La Sibilla 2019 Falanghina, Campi Flegrei, Campania, Italy

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La Sibilla 2019 Falanghina, Campi Flegrei, Campania, Italy

  • Farming: Organic, not certified
  • Winemaker: Vincenzo di Meo
  • Grape Varieties: Falanghina
  • Soil / Terroir: Volcanic. Just north of Naples, right on the coast of Campania, there is a very small grape-growing area called the Campi Flegrei, an old volcano crater. The soil is so sandy here that the vines can be planted directly in it, without being grafted to other rootstocks. Perhaps it is this very unusual fact that makes these wines so distinctive, along with the great care given to the vines and the wine by Luigi di Meo and his family.
  • Vinification: Destemmed, stainless steel
  • Aging: 9 months, stainless steel
  • Tasting Notes: This is a very distinctive example of how delicious Campanian white wines can be. It delivers a crisp minerally character while also showing appealing aromas and flavors of citrus, flowers, and tarragon.

The fact that these vines are ungrafted leads to another very unusual feature: full ripeness at lower alcohol levels. These indigenous grapes, both the white Falanghina and the red Piedirosso, are picked in mid to late September (typical for a warm climate) demonstrating fully developed flavors, all while maintaining low alcohol levels (about twelve percent in both cases) and excellent fresh acidity.

From our Aug 2021 Explorer Club Notes:

   This month's porch-pounding, summertime sipper hails from La Sibilla winery in Campania, on Italy's southwestern coast. Located just meters from the Gulf of Naples in an area known as Campi Flegrei, the di Meo family has been focused on the production of hyper-local grapes for five generations now. Derived from the region's multitude of volcanoes and the influence of the sea, the soils here are almost entirely sand. The purity of this sand means it is impossible for the vine-killing Phylloxera louse to take root, essentially ensuring that healthy vines can last on their own rootstocks for centuries. The di Meo family has always practiced organic farming, and such care allows some vines to grow over 200 years old! With trunks as large as maple trees, some of their Falanghina Flegrei vines twist and turn into pergolas that hang above head level, producing grapes with mind-blowing complexity, concentration,  and richness.

    This bottling is a very distinctive example of how delicious Campanian white wines can be. Made from younger vines on the property (LOL at “younger” being only 80-100 years old), it is fermented in stainless steel with its indigenous yeasts then aged on the lees for six months. The 2019 Falanghina Flegrea is weighty on the palate, but has an attractive herbal, citrusy, and mineral profile the finishes with zippiness! 

    Fun fact-- Falanghina Flegrea is not to be confused with Falanghina Beneventana, an entirely different grape more commonly found to the northeast of Naples (so goes the endless confusion of Italian wine grapes).  We love this wine for an epic night of summer shellfish feasting, an herbal salad of heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil, or a salty snack of little fried fish with lots of lemon!! 

— Simi Grewal

 


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