The 4 best white wines from the Amalfi Coast chosen by Gambero Rosso

Mar 31 2024, 17:46
The Amalfi Coast is now famous not only for its landscape and tourism, but also for its oenological aspect, with excellent red, white, and rosé wines from the eponymous DOC. Here we focus on the white wines that have been awarded Tre Bicchieri or Due Bicchieri Rossi

"Campania Felix." This is what the Romans called this region because of its exuberant fertility. Authors like Pliny the Elder and Virgil praised its winemaking tradition. Not surprisingly, one of the most famous wines of the time, Falerno, was produced right in this region.

Here we focus on the white wines of the Amalfi Coast - famous for its landscape and tourism - with Mediterranean fragrances and unmistakable iodine suggestions, which gracefully accompany not only seafood cuisine to be tasted in the local restaurants. The Amalfi Coast DOC includes the three subzones of Ravello, Furore, and Tramonti - areas always dedicated to agriculture in general and viticulture in particular - quite different in terms of exposure and microclimate.

The municipalities falling within the DOC are thirteen, all in the province of Salerno. Types of Red, White, and Rosé are provided for. The Red and Rosé are the result of the blending of Piedirosso and/or Sciascinoso (also known as Olivella) and Aglianico with a minimum percentage of 60%, plus other authorized grape varieties up to a maximum of 40%. The White is obtained from Falanghina grapes, locally known as White Zita (with a percentage of not less than 40%), and Biancolella, also known as Tender White (at least 20%), plus other non-aromatic local grapes from the province of Salerno (up to 40%).

The maximum permitted grape production per hectare is 110 quintals for Rosé and Red and 120 quintals for White; quantities are reduced in the subzones (respectively 90 and 100 quintals), with alcohol content ranging from 10° to 10.5° for White and from 11° to 11.5° for Red, to the advantage of quality for the wines of the subzones.

The best white wines of the Amalfi Coast

Here are the Amalfi Coast white wines that have been awarded Tre Bicchieri or Due Bicchieri Rossi, having reached the finals during the tastings for the Gambero Rosso 2024 Vini d'Italia guide.

The Selva delle Monache 2022 by Ettore Sammarco is the usual Mediterranean white of breed. Broad and fragrant with tones of lemon leaf and citrus, white peach and linden flowers, fresh aromatic herbs, it boasts a sweet palate of fruit, saline, long, and tapering into the long and elegant finish. Great class and finesse also in the Vigna Grotta Piana 2022: spicy, with tones of Mediterranean scrub and aromatic herbs, iodine and slightly smoky, it indulges with a juicy and rich mouthfeel reminiscent of the zest of light citrus fruits. The most well-known of the Ravello companies bears the name of its founder, Ettore Sammarco, who in 1962 decided to give life to his own brand to transform and market the raw materials of the vineyard in Castiglione. Today the company can also count on a trusted handful of contributors: Bartolo, Ettore's son, is responsible for enhancing this heritage by creating Mediterranean-style wines that come exclusively from indigenous grapes.

The Per Eva 2020 by Tenuta San Francesco is a white from the Amalfi Coast resulting from a blend of Falanghina, Ginestra, and Pepella. The Tramonti subzone is a rugged and difficult area for viticulture, but the four founding partners of the company, Vincenzo D'Avino, Luigi Giordano, Gaetano, and Generoso Bove, have accepted the challenge of carrying forward 14 hectares of vineyards divided into several plots. A small grapevine treasure chest that has allowed the company to become a reference point for the Amalfi Coast, offering a focused interpretation of varieties that are difficult to manage such as Pepella, Ginestra, White Zita, Tender White, Aglianico, Piedirosso, and Tintorea. Pear and white peach, spices, white pepper, delicate aromatic herbs, a lot of sea: this is the aromatic profile that leads to an elegant and taut palate, with staggering sapidity.

The Fiorduva by Marisa Cuomo in the 2022 version presents the usual warm aromatic profile made of yellow spices, candied lemons, citron, basil, white honey. Sunny also on the palate, where it is rich in fruit, soft and enveloping, refreshed by summery citrus sensations. Speaking of the poignant beauty of the terraced slopes cultivated with pergolas overlooking the Amalfi Coast presupposes the use of the expression "heroic viticulture." Which also describes the work of Marisa Cuomo and Andrea Ferraioli, supported by their children Dora and Raffaele. The 18 hectares overhanging the Tyrrhenian Sea are the cradle of indigenous varieties: Piedirosso and Sciascinoso for the reds, Ripoli, Fenile, and Ginestra for the whites, grapes which, among other things, also give life to the company's flagship wine.

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