Introducing the Exciting Wines of Vinica from Molise


Of the many Italian wine regions I've had the chance to explore, the wines of Molise have remained a bit of a mystery to me.  Molise is a small and extremely mountainous region south of Abruzzo that is often absent from wine lists and in reference materials about Italian wine. Everything that I had read led me to believe that this was a region still dominated by co-ops making wine for local consumption rather than the international market; so when I first tasted the wines of Vinica I was taken aback. The wines were excellent: well-balanced, showing a lively character and focus. They are clearly wines of a unique place, unforced and exhibiting an undeniable confidence in the potential of their land.

The estate was founded in 2008 by Rodolfo Gianserra with a mission to restore a large parcel of abandoned land high in the hills of Molise, north of Campobasso. The project is ambitious, covering 220 hectares of primarily forest and pasture but also olive groves, vegetable plots, and about 22 hectares of vines. Much of the land has been replanted to forest (including formerly productive farm land) with native tree species in order to encourage biodiversity on the rest of the property. Rodolfo began planting vines in 2009 with the philosophy in mind that "wine is made in the vine." The vines are situated between 550 and 750 meters above sea level, planted at low density (to lend concentration), and have been organically farmed from the outset. Grapes are always hand harvested, fermented with native yeast without temperature control in stainless steel, and bottled without filtration or fining.

Both of the wines included in today’s offer are wonderful, but for me the most exciting wine from Vinica is their Tintilia: the traditional red variety of the area that was neglected in favor of more productive grapes and only revived in the mid 1990's. The Vinica 2013 Tintilia is a vibrant wine showing a mix of intense red fruit, delicate floral tone, and an earthy finish with a lifted structure that lends itself to a light chill. Not only are they bottling a great Tintilia, but they are also working with the University of Molise producing micro-vinifications to help better understand the variety.

There is clearly more to be discovered about the region of Molise and I don’t think there is a better place to start than with the wines of Vinica. Please join us in tasting the exemplary wines of Vinica and exploring the terroir of Molise with Rodolfo Gianserra at Chambers Street Wines this evening from 5 - 7 pm. Andy Paynter

Vinica 2013 Tintilia del Molise Lame del Sorbo

Tasting Vinica’s Tintilia makes me wonder how this grape ever fell out of favor in Molise in the first place. It seems particularly well adapted to the high altitude vineyards of the region, showing a balance between ripe fruit and fresh acidity. The grapes are crushed at low pressure and allowed to ferment naturally in open top vessels before being held in steel tanks for two years. There is no temperature control at any point, which allows malolactic fermentation to occur naturally over time. The wine has a pleasant herbal tone of green pepper that peaks out on the nose over tart berry fruit, red roses, and moist earth. The palate is quite fresh and marked by bright acidity and soft tannins with a pleasant, earthy finish. This may not be a wine to cellar for ten years but it is a wine that casually conveys a sense of joy and is a carefree food pairing choice. Give it a try with rich pasta dishes, roast pork, stuffed mushrooms or open it at your next summer barbeque. Andy Paynter

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Vinica 2015 Trebbiano Terre degli Osci Altra Terre

I'm a huge fan of orange wines and I think that Trebbiano Terre Degli Osci from Vinica is stellar. It is produced from a single vineyard interplanted with 85% Trebbiano Toscano and 15% Garganega at 750 meters above sea level, the highest vineyard at the estate. The grapes are foot-trod, destemmed by hand, and fermented in open top containers on the skins for 8 days with daily punch downs. The wine is gently pressed and then held in contact with the lees for 10 months in steel tanks. What I particularly enjoy is that the wine manages to be both unctuous with flavors of honey, rich stone fruit, and lemon curd, but also has bright acidity and a really delicate texture with only 10.5% Alcohol. A slight note of pine resin pervades the wine and gives it a pleasant earthy dimension. I served it with a simple risotto, but it would be a great match for pork and fennel sausage, speck,  or sheeps milk cheese. Andy Paynter

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur