Malcolm Jolley finds a great value white from Campania at Vintages.

La Guardiense Janare del Sannio Greco 2017
$18.95 | LCBO# 631085

This week at GFR, Jamie has posted an interesting and engaging interview with Jerôme-Benoit Kelagopian (here) from The Northern Rhône’s Cave de Tain about the evolution of the co-operative winemaking movement from a focus on quantity to quality. As it happens, an Southern Italian version of this story, the co-operative La Guardiense from Sannio, northeast of Naples, has a wine in this Saturday’s Vintages release that illustrates how good and affordable cooperative winemaking can be.

Some years ago the growers who run Cantina Sociale La Guardiense decided to get serious, they hired the big deal oenologist Riccardo Cotarella bring up the quality of their wines, as well as a young ambitious winemaker, Marco Giulioli (pictured on a previous visit to Toronto below) to carry out the advice given by the old pro. I wrote about it in detail in this GFR post from 2016. Whether your interested in the recent winemaking socio-economic trends in Mediterranean Europe or not, if your interested in a dleicious bottle of wine under $20, I recommend you try the Guardiense co-operative’s Janare del Sannio Greco 2017.

Greco is one of the triumvirate of white grapes from Campania that includes Falanghina and Fiano (from both of which La Guardiense makes wines). It’s expression in the 2017 Janare Greco begins with a clean line of typical Italian white wine acidity over which hovers a big round baloon of tropical fruits and white flowers, though it’s not particularly aromatic. This is a wine tht pairs well with six o’clock on a Friday evening and whatever snacks can be rounded up from the cupboard or fridge.

The 2017 Janare del Sannio Greco is slated to be released on February 16, but I found bottles for sale at my local LCBO already, so look around, if you’d like to try it sooner than later.