Malcolm Jolley celebrates Falanghina with Marco Giulioli.
Marco Guilioli is an oenologist at La Guardiense winery in Campania, where he is a protegé of Riccardo Cotarella, La Guardiense’s consulting winemaker and a big deal in Italian and international wine circles. The young man is a Campanian and grew up in a family that worked in the wine industry, principally growing falanghina, you might say the grape courses through his veins.
Guilioli was in Toronto recently for the annual Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting, sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission. The event features wineries who’ve had a wine chosen by the magazine for their prestigious “three glasses” designation. It’s well attended for obvious reasons; it’s a big room full of very good Italian wine. Giulioli and La Guardiense won a Tre Bicchieri for their 2014 Sannio Falanghina Janare Senete. Not bad for a co-operative that makes wine form a supposedly humble grape. Indeed, another Falanghina from the Sannio region of Campania, the 2014 Terre Stregate Falanghina del Sannio Svelato won the Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia award this years for the wine that showed “Best Value for Money” with a cellar door price of about €10.
Falanghina is clearly on the rise, as it should be. Wines from the grape are typically sresh crisp and full of life. That was certainly the case Marco Giulioli’s 2015 Falanghina del Sannio DOP Janare. This wine has been submitted for testing by the LCBO by La Guardiense’s importing agents The Vine. I hope it clears through and gets into Ontario ASAP. It’s a perfect summer wine, lemony like the famous fruit of Amalfi and versatile. The Senete version includes some barrel aged wines and is a sort version of the plain Janare, with just a touch of soft tannic structure. Giulioli thought the DOP would be priced around $15 and the Senete $20. Crazy value. Watch this grape and watch this producer.