2014 Agnanum Falanghina ‘Sabbia Vulcanica’
Region: Campi Flegrei < Campania < Italy
Grapes: Falanghina, Catalanesca, Moscato + 5% mix of local varietals (Gelsomina, Caprettone, Biancolella – up to 200 year-old vines)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, volcanic ash and sand soils, stainless steel ferment & ageing, 10ppm SO2 during vinification, none at bottling
Winemaker: Raffaelle Moccia
On the very Western edge of Naples lies the Campi Flegrei, a volcanic area where wine production has existed here since Roman times, with the majority of vines planted in steep terraces. Sadly, most growers have abandoned these historic sites because mechanization is near impossible, and it’s simply too much work. Agnanum’s Raffaelle Moccia isn’t one of them. He is continuing his family’s winemaking tradition on this harsh site overlooking the outskirts of Naples, with a peekaboo view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Whenever it rains, the sandy terraces are washed away and must be rebuilt by hand. In fact, the name of this wine, Sabbia Vulcanica, means “Volcanic Sand”. There are 4 main layers of soil at Agnanum, and they’re all volcanic – layers of history and grit that give the wine a beautiful smoky minerality. I love this wine, because it has a seductive edge, and defies categorization – citrus, campfire, a fresh breeze and creaminess all at once. Pineapple on the grill, luau in a bottle?