It’s Vinitaly 2008, Vincenzo Cianfagna, as it turns out, had decided to pack Vinitaly into the week before his wedding and was, not surprisingly, never in the right place at the right time according to his bride-to-be. This was all unfolding under the public eye at his booth and so, in an inspired fit of peacekeeping, I suggested that we have a glass of wine.
In no time at all Vincenzo had produced a bottle of his marvellous Tintilia and all was forgotten apart from the wild aromas of this, most bizarre of grape varieties. Unoaked and perfectly balanced, this has bramble, plum, blackberry, and all manner of exotic spice baked into its broad frame. Sourced from vineyards planted in a SW-facing amphitheatre 500m above sea level, Vincenzo harvests row by row as the grapes achieve full physiological maturity. Fermentation and maturation are entirely in concrete.
Originally from Spain, Tintilia is the Timorasso of the south and there are fewer than 100 hectares still cultivated. Peccato. This vibrant, aromatic, and profoundly artisanal wine is another example of why I’ll never tire of Italy. Since you ask, the wedding went off without a hitch, they are happily married, have two kids and the house and winery are just as chaotic and welcoming as they were on my first visit 15 years ago.
Tintilia del Molise DOC ‘Sator’