2021 Azienda Sacco, Falanghina IGP “Aleis” Apulia, Italy.
The Brilliant gold Alleis Falanghina by Sacco is an all organic and crisply dry white wine from an unlikely place, in the wilds of Apulia and is a mineral driven example of this grape, originally brought to Italy from Greek colonists centuries ago. The palate is tartly stone fruited with vibrant acidity and great purity of form with apricot, lemony citrus, quince and bitter peach pit leading the way here with stony notes, saline and almond accents. The grapes were all hand harvested and gently slow pressed, a process lasting 6 hours, into stainless steel, where the juice was fermented and lees aged for just about a few months before a quick bottling to promote freshness and transparency. This wine has a lot to admire and is outstanding with sea food dishes and coastal cuisine choices. The Apulia region is rustic and traditionally or generally not seen as a top wine area, but with great olive oil and an interesting array of varietals, like Nero di Troia, Bombino Bianco, Falanghina, Malvasia di Candia and of course the most famous Primitivo, aka Zinfandel.
The golden yellow Falanghina grape, most likely from Greece, had been almost been forgotten for over a hundred years, but since it is one of the grapes not really affected by the phylloxera plague(s), it has survived and now is a staple in Italy’s South, especially in Campania. The name Falanghina, translates to “vine supported by poles” and it is usually raised ungrafted and is grown mainly in hilly terrain. Doing well in hot and dry climates, the grape has found a happy home in the southern regions of Italy, which includes the mentioned Campania, as well as Apulia and the province of Foggia, as see here, along with the Molise and even in Lazio, not far from Rome. The Sacco family winery, which is run by Matteo and Alessandro, is committed to sustainable farming and terroir influenced wines. The vineyards are located in the Gargano mountains, on calcareous-clay soils, that brings out a certain chalky tone and the expressive mineral tones. This Aleis, single cru Falaghina, is sublime value and I highly recommend it for those looking for a lovely Summer wine, it is a great alternative to generic Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and or stainless steel fermented and aged Chardonnays.
($18 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive