2018 Vestini Campagnano Kajanero, Terre del Volturno IGT, Italy (750ml)

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In the region between the towns of Castel Campagnano and Conca della Campania—an area where great wines have been made since Roman times—lies the estate of Vestini Campagnano. Founded by the Barletta family in 1990 and rooted in their passion for historical grape varieties, Vestini Campagnano was the first winery to research the almost extinct Pallagrello (red and white) and Casavecchia clones. Inspired by the belief that Pallagrello once belonged to the noblest varieties of Europe (being held in high esteem by the Bourbon kings), the Barletta family enlisted famed enologist of Campania Luigi Moio to lead their efforts in reviving and restoring this ancient varietal, all from a garage-style setting with only a few vines growing in the backyard.

By 2000, Vestini Campagnano had planted organically-farmed vineyards propagated from the original vines discovered on the estate and was producing about 8,00 bottles of wine under the Terre del Volturno IGT. Today owner Alberto Barletta has been joined by his sons, Amedeo & Luigi, as managers of this unique estate. They now own six hectares of vines and produce about 60,000 bottles per year with enologist Paolo Caciorgna at the helm, lending grace and finesse to wines from this unique region.

The name “Terre del Volturno” translates literally as “lands of the Volturno” and refers to the Volturno River, which flows southwest through the Caserta province from the Central Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It designates the southern half of the Caserta province in northern Campania. It is of particular note as the home of the rare, native varieties of Pallagrello Bianco and Nero and Casavecchia.

Kajanero means ‘the dark wine from Caiazzo’ (the town where these grapes are grown) and is a blend of 40% Pallagrello Nero, 30% Casavecchia, 20% Aglianico and 10% Pizzutella, fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel with native yeasts. The wine was aged for 3 months barrique and for an additional month in bottle. The result is a delightful, medium-weight red wine with clear southern Italian character.

Deep purple robe. Complex nose showing black fruit and herbs. Loads of black currant and dark cherry fruit on the palate, the wine has lively acidity, adding to its vibrance, and perfectly smoothed out tannins on the long, fruit-driven finish.

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