Tre Bicchieri 2022 in Calabria
Those who think that there are no more new wine territories to discover in Italy would do well to take a tour of Calabria, where in the last decade, as we have regularly recounted here, dozens of new wineries have sprung up in areas other than Cirò (long considered one of the few, if not the only, part of Calabria where quality wine is made). If the bulk of regional production continues to be concentrated in Cirò, it must also be said that in recent years the quality has grown considerably. In addition to historical wineries, such as Librandi and Ippolito, there was the first wave of young producers who began making an impact about ten years ago (Francesco de Franco and ‘A Vita, Sergio Arcuri or the Scilanga brothers with their Cote di Franze), all by now established winemakers. But in the last five years many small and interesting projects have also emerged, such as that founded by the Dell’Aquila brothers, Giuseppe Vulcano or Christian Vumbaca, who debuted in the guide with a bang, taking home Tre Bicchieri, or Brigante’s Stefania Carè, who also earned top marks thanks to a Gaglioppo Rosato that’s free of added sulphites or yeasts.
The best wines of Calabria
The whole region is growing constantly. In Cosenza, for example, especially in the Castrovillari area, they’re growing not only in terms of production volumes, but also quality. But it is, above all, from the region’s south, the province of Reggio Calabria that, after decades of silence, we’re seeing the most interesting developments, together with the rediscovery of certain areas that have always been historically well suited to viticulture, such as Bianco, Pizzo and Gerace. The other very encouraging fact is that the leaders of this rebirth are mainly young people and women, often with other professional experiences behind them, who have decided to return to Calabria to devote themselves to viticulture. Pierpaolo Cerminara, for example, left his job as a mechanical engineer, while Antonella Lombardo and Christian Vumbaca were in the legal profession until a couple of years ago. This year saw Tre Bicchieri going to Librandi for a Duca Sanfelice ’19 that is, perhaps, the best version ever of this Calabrian classic. Roberto Ceraudo, an enlightened producer who operates in Strongoli (he was one of the first to convert to organic and then to biodynamic), also earned Tre Bicchieri with his Grisara ’20.
Tre Bicchieri in Basilicata
If we were to draw up a ranking of the territories that have the greatest media and commercial growth potential in Italy, Basilicata would probably be at the top. A combination of volcanic lands and fertile plains sprayed by two seas, well-suited coastal terroirs and high-elevation vineyards make for a region whose capacities are matched by few others in Italy. All this is to say that Basilicata is moving forward, but not as fast as it could. It’s home to prestigious native grapes (Aglianico for one), beautiful vineyards and passionate vintners—many of them. It’s time to make all this better known to the general public, to invest in marketing and communication. We say this because our tastings this year saw some 28 wines reach our finals, reaffirming the technical maturity of the region’s producers, who have been working hard for years to make top-quality products. And if up to a dozen or so years ago, this was only really true of Vulture, today we can say the same of Matera, thanks to the visibility that the ‘City of Stones’ earned in 2019 as the European Capital of Culture, as well as the global success of Primitivo.
The best wines of Basilicata
Indeed, it’s been nothing but good news for the area. The rest of the Italian wine industry has noticed, and investments from other regions are increasingly frequent. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to the five wines that scored Tre Bicchieri. There are five Aglianico del Vultures, a classic among the great reds of southern Italy. There’s the elegant Calice ’19 authored by Donato D’Angelo, historically recognized as a master of the appellation; the clear and focused Repertoire ’18 by Cantine del Notaio, which offers many captivating interpretations of the wine; the exuberant Titolo ’18 by Elena Fucci, who’s at the cutting-edge of a sector in which women are increasingly prevalent. They’re accompanied by the full-bodied Nocte ’18, whose creator, Terre dei Re, once again proves to be a quality winery, and finally the sophisticated Re Manfredi ’18 produced by the GIV group’s Terre degli Svevi, a top-performer for some years now. We conclude by inviting readers to visit this beautiful region. You will be enchanted by its artistic treasures, landscapes, and by its extraordinary gastronomy and wine.