Friday, 19 March 2010

Tintore just doesn't quite make it

We are always sad when an obscure grape doesn't make it into the Slotovino Hall of Fame. In the case of Tintore, the grape ticks all the boxes not only for obscurity but everything else imaginable:

1. Tinore is a Teinturier grape probably the product of Aglianico and Tintura. It is cultivated over barely 10 ha, by only very few growers including Giuseppe Apicella, Alfonso Arpino and Luigi Reale in Tramonti, inland from the Costiera Almalfitana, near Ravello, Campania (Italy).

2. The example we tasted was from old vines "forse le piu antiche d'Italia"
(according to the label on Arpino's bottle of 'Monte di Grazia' 90% Tintore, 10% Piedirosso) 80 - 120 years old.

3. The vines are grown 'organically/biologically' and have until today resisted Phylloxera.

4. The area has a special microclimate cooled by coastal breezes and the soils have evolved from the numerous eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius over the ages.

5, The vineyards are in elevated positions between 300 and 550 metres above sea level.

There are many other little or unknown grape varieties growing in the 'Parco dei Monti Lattari' where Monte di Grazia is. These include the following white varieties:
Bianca Tenera
There is also another red, even rarer than Tintore called Moscio.

All of this unfortunately doesn't make a great wine. The Monte di Grazia Rosso is an interesting wine;
one with personality and good with food. It tends to high alcohol (13% - 15%) and acidity levels however and is a little bit too rustic to take its place alongside the gems which constitute out Hall of Fame. Peccato.

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