2015 Core by Montevetrano, Aglianico IGT, Campania, Italy.
One of Italy’s iconic wines of the south, Montevertrano is a singular and towering red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the native Aglianico grapes and crafted under the supervision of Riccardo Cotarella, one of the most influential winemakers in the world, tasting this wine is always a treat, and while the top wine is spectacular they also make a stylish and rewarding value priced second wine called the Core by Montevertrano. The owner of the estate is Silva Imparato, she started with vines as a hobby, but quickly saw the quality and potential here, and founded the winery in 1985 in the hills near the commune of San Cipriano Picentino, not far from Salerno. Mountains surround the property, which includes a beautiful ancient Villa, a modern cellar, that built in 2000 with the vineyards situated on gentle slopes facing south and southwest making for a perfect setting to produce great wines. The lighter more local tasting Core collection includes a Greco based Bianco as well as this tasty and expressive Aglianico based red, these are a wonderful way to get glimpse of the soul of the place and of course to Montevetrano.

The 100% Aglianico 2015 Core IGT Rosso, which is pronounced Kor-Ay in Italian is local dialect for “heart” hence the label art, designed by Silvia’s daughter and used to evoke the love of life, that the winery calls the spirit of Montevetrano. Core is sourced, as Cotarella notes, from particular experimental Aglianico plots on the estate in San Cipriano as well as selected outside growers in the classical Benevento area and the wine is fermented in all stainless steel with a gentle maceration and primary fermentation lasting about 15 days with daily punchdowns, pump-overs and racking before being put into small French oak Bordeaux style barriques for just about 4 months to soften tannins, but allow vivid freshness, which this wine clearly shows. The quality and personality of the Core lineup is especially rewarding for the price and this 2015 is drinking really well with vibrant dusty red fruits like spiced raspberry, plum, currant and candied orange as well as savory notes of meat/iron, leather and a mix of floral and kirsch notes along with licorice and cedar. This chewy and flavorful Core red goes great with country style cuisine and robust Mediterranean dishes.
($22 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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