MCF Rare Wine
Come Taste These Wines With Stefano!
Tomorrow, Thursday 3/27, 5-7pm
Back in 2017, I was tipped by a restaurant friend of mine about a great little Solopaca from Campania that was being imported by a guy who worked at Kesté, the famous Neopolitan pizza joint on Bleeker Street.
That guy was Stefano Cominale, and he came and showed me this fantastic Solopaca (a 90/10 blend of Aglianico and Sangiovese from one of the more obscure appellations in Campania) and I was instantly hooked - here we had a wine that demonstrated as much classic, honest Aglianico character for the money as anything else I've encountered.
I also loved the story behind it - a native of Campania comes to NY, works in a famous Neopolitan pizza joint, but can't find the cherished wines of his homeland at a price/style that he loved.
So he started importing his own under the 'Fabulae' name, all of which are organic, fiercely traditional, fairly priced and absolutely delicious.
So we started with the Solopaca, and soon after he had a Sannio Aglianico at a slightly higher price point that was also fantastic, showing a bit more complexity and depth.
They instantly garnered their own dedicated following here, which we ran with.
All the while, though, he kept telling me about two whites that were on the way, one of which was the Pallagrello (Bianco), and the other was an Aspirinio, easily of of Italy's most obscure varietals.
When the Pallagrello landed, we (and many of you) were smitten with its lively, peppery, slightly cheese-y and firmly mineral character. A fresh, super classic Campanian white that will cover anything from fresh, simple seafood, to pasta and pizza with ease...and will actually age really nicely for a few years too.
Then we have the Aspirinio, which is totally unique, though not in an upfront kind of way. I supposed I should make mention of the fact that Aspirinio vines are trellised 20 or 30 feet in the air, traditionally on trees, most of which require long ladders to harvest. You can just image-search 'Aspirinio Vines', and you'll see what I mean...plus that way I'm not stealing pictures from anyone.
Okay, where was I? Ah yes, it's also quite fresh and lively, but with more texture to the mouthfeel and a bit more body as well, but then the really neat elements of it emerge in the seconds after the initial whiff and sip.
There is an flowery, herbaceous, almost anise-y tilt to the nose, which seems super odd given whence it came, and then on the palate, under the tight-lipped texture, there is a super cool kind of savory nuttiness (a 'veiled nuttiness' as one of my customer-friends said the other day) that makes for a very unique juxtaposition.
When I was first tasting it, Stefano could barely contain his excitement that this obscure grape he adored would find its way into glasses in NYC. But then he stopped and, somewhat seriously, said (picture a perfect Neopolitan accent)...
'...and Matt, the area I come from, we have the best Mozzarella. But everyone always drinks the wrong wine with the Mozzarella. But where I come from we know that you drink the Aspirinio with the Mozzarella!'
So, naturally, I had to try it out and he is right. The way the floral/herbaceous and nutty elements play off the fresh, salty, sweetly creamy Mozzarella is very delicious indeed.
There are also three new wines in the works.
One is a sparkling Aspirinio (!), which I cannot wait for.
Just a few days ago, he came by to give us a sneak preview of the upcoming Aglianico del Vulture which was also incredibly good!
Then he also said, with a sly grin, 'and Matt...later this year we will have Taurasi!'
More on all of those when they arrive.
So, what started out as a tiny project with one wine is blossoming nicely into a great (but still tiny) source for a range of super-authentic Campanian wines...
...and this is the only shop you can get 'em at...
To inquire about this wine, please email email@example.com or call 212.255.8870.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011