Falanghina from Cantine degli Astroni at the 2010 LIWF
I do enjoy those more obscure Italian varietals. Italy has something like over a thousand native grape varieties and over a million vineyards under cultivation! Which means you are spoilt for choice. No need to stick to the usual suspects such as pinot grigio and sangiovese (Chianti).
Falanghina might be more or less an unknown quantity here in the UK but it is widely grown and consumed in Italy. While I was at the London International Wine Fair recently, I tried the falanghina of Cantine degli Astroni, a vineyard based in the Phlegraean Fields near Naples. The vineyard for the Strione falanghina is situated on the slopes of the Astroni crater and the it’s volcanic influences can be found on the nose and palate. What was interesting about this wine was that it had been macerated on the skins, something that is not commonly done with white wine grapes. Macerating it on the skins gives the wine a whole new complexity and character, richer, fuller and definitely much more structure.
Cantine degli Astroni also produce other excellent white wines including greco di tufo and fiano de avellino but I wanted to focus on the falanghina as I thought it was the most interesting. I had a brief chat with their rep, Gerrardo (his friends call him Gerry)Vernazzaro. Click on the vid to find out more about the Strione falanghina. The Strione is available from Naked Wines.