2016 Alois Pallagrello Bianco ‘Caiati’ Terre del Volturno

2016 Alois Pallagrello Bianco ‘Caiati’ Terre del Volturno

Regular price $20

Price: $20

Region: Caserta < Campania < Italy
Grapes: Pallagrello Bianco
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; volcanic and limestone soils, 50% (the juice from volcanic soils) ferments in stainless steel and 50% (from limestone) goes into neutral oak for a few months; bottled with light filtration and low SO2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Massimo Alois  

My friend, the consummate gentleman and host Massimo Alois, makes this fresh, lively white from the indigenous (and until a few years ago, nearly extinct) Pallagrello Bianco grapes at his estate in the countryside of Caserta (30 min north of Naples). This is mozzarella country. And silk country (Caserta used to be the center of Europe’s silk trade, a place where riches and royals mingled – the city has one of the largest and most opulent palaces in all of Europe, a UNESCO site and once home to the Bourbon dynasty). But we digress. It is also a volcanic terroir that produces some pretty great wine, like Massimo’s Pallagrello Bianco, which he believes has great aging potential. His fruit comes from two vineyards, one at 300 feet on volcanic soils, and the other at 800 feet on rocky limestone soils. Same grape, different terroirs, which he says gives this wine balance – juice from the volcanic soil has more finesse, while the limestone juice has crazy acid. They come together beautifully – white flowers growing on lava rocks, stony minerality and white peach and a kiss of salt on the finish. Drink with burrata or pasta or a juicy Caprese salad…