Reclaiming the Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata


A properly romantic wine has a sense of adventure. Sara Carbone’s wines from Mount Vulture in Basilicata, Southern Italy bring to mind the line from Descartes about travelling that it “is like talking to men from other centuries.” Not only are her Aglianico del Vulture and Fiano complex and interesting wines in themselves but they are also a journey through Southern Italian history.

 

The Fiano label (left) tells a love story: Emperor Federick II’s castle for his lover was in the town of Melfi in Basilicata. He was the ruler of Sicily and Southern Italy and the monarchy lasted well into the 18th Century. During the time under the monarchy, Naples was the third largest city in Europe after London and Paris.

Over the past 10 years, winemakers have started to reclaim the wealth of the noble varieties of Fiano and Aglianico found in Basilicata. On the dormant volcano slopes, only 100% Aglianico grapes are permitted in the wine. Sara Carbone is a young winemaker whose family once sold their grapes to the most regarded winemaker in the region, Paternoster, and since 2005, bottles the wine under her own label.

Tasting Notes

The 2010 Fiano, Basilicata Bianco is an example of the heights this variety can achieve in purity and elegance, whilst the Aglianico del Vulture “400 some” is a wild and earthy wine of prunes, violets and herbal characters (£108 per dozen). The single vineyard Aglianico del Vulture “Stupor Mundi” (wonder of the land) is a heavy, powerful wine full of bruising fruit and mad lava which I believe will shed its weight over the next five years to reveal its pumice-stone core. Like all good wines, I know it tastes of the land but what? I am not sure. It is a wild and dramatic landscape I have never visited, which only makes me want to travel more.

Thanks to Berry Bros and Rudd for organizing 2011 Anteprima Italian Tasting The Grand Tour, 8th September, 2011.

Posted in Basilicata. RSS 2.0 feed.

13 Responses to Reclaiming the Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata

  1. Jamie Goode says:

    Good write up of some lovely wines – I really enjoyed them too

  2. Anonymous says:

    che emozione! “@winewomansong: New post. The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/SMNn1Fa

  3. Roberto says:

    che emozione! “@winewomansong: New post. The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/SMNn1Fa

  4. Winexplorer says:

    che emozione! “@winewomansong: New post. The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/SMNn1Fa

  5. Juel Mahoney says:

    che emozione! “@winewomansong: New post. The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/SMNn1Fa

  6. cascinagilli says:

    Great @saravinicarbone! RT @winewomansong
    The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/tnEiy2z @berrybrosrudd

  7. Juel Mahoney says:

    Great @saravinicarbone! RT @winewomansong
    The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/tnEiy2z @berrybrosrudd

  8. Les_Dubh says:

    New post. The Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata – http://t.co/5ISONHg @winewomansong

  9. Tweetaly says:

    Reclaiming the Noble Wines of Southern Italy: Sara Carbone, Basilicata
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  10. Juel Mahoney says:

    Latest blog: Introducing Sara Carbone from Basilicata, land of 100% Aglianico del Vulture – http://t.co/5ISONHg @winewomansong

  11. Bibendum says:

    RT @winewomansong: Latest blog: Introducing Sara Carbone from Basilicata, land of 100% Aglianico del Vulture – http://t.co/GpG9lKe

  12. A J Hoadley says:

    Latest blog: Introducing Sara Carbone from Basilicata, land of 100% Aglianico del Vulture – http://t.co/5ISONHg @winewomansong

  13. James Swann says:

    Quality wines from comparatively lesser-known parts of Italy would certainly appear to be making strides forward. Nonetheless, the same has been said about Spain for at least the past three years, yet, buyers sit on their hands.

    In Britain, the sheer conservatism at the higher end is truly remarkable, rigid; the fine wine hierarchy in Britain hasn’t changed for a hundred years: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhone, Piedmont and Tuscany, followed in price by Rioja.

    The Mosel, California, top Australian – albeit to a lesser degree – Ribera del Duero, the Dao; all have been knocking on Britain’s door for years and indeed have been embraced by other high-end drinking countries from the US to Singapore.

    Let us hope, then, that ongoing promotion pays some dividends, it would be wonderful to see such wines reach a wider audience.

    In the secondary market, however, Italy is profiling as an attractive alternative for priced-out traditional Bordeaux collectors; both for drinking and in some instance the traditional financing of future drinking through selling off the odd few cases.

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