2020 La Sibilla Campi Flegrei Falanghina
Region: Campania > Campi Flegrei > Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, sandy volcanic soil, 50-100 year old vines, hand picked, fermented and aged in stainless steel for six months. Bottled lightly filtered (vegan) + unfined with minimal SO2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Vincenzo DiMeo
NEW VINTAGE! Italy's Campania region is home to the only active volcano on the mainland- Mt. Vesuvius - and several that are extinct. The area is rich with buried Roman ruins from volcanoes of times past, including the area called Campi Flegrei. In this beautiful spot, with the Bay of Naples on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, the happy La Sibilla grapes grow on a narrow outcropping of white, volcanic soil. Vines are own-rooted old - many are 100 years+. Here, the DiMeo family has been making wine for four generations, with the winemaking now in the hands of young Vincenzo, who still works closely with his father, Luigi. Most of their vineyards are adjacent to the family home, and have never seen a single chemical input. Instead of cultivating a garden, they simply grow their vegetables between the rows - natural weed control and fertilization of the soil! From the top of their highest plot of land there is nearly a 360 degree view of the sea - an extreme coastal influence that you taste in a huge way in the wine.
It's unclear which has more influence -- the sea or the volcanic soil -- but the minerality and salinity on the palate is SO distinct. This intense, rocky minerality is balanced by ripe, juicy Falanghina fruit - apricot, pineapple and also a white flower thing. Like most Italian whites, it's an excellent food wine, especially paired with chickpea soup or seafood (both, tested!), but it's also lovely and refreshing on its own. Either way, this wine has the power to transport you straight to the Italian coast, the place we're longing to by right about now.