The 2012 Greco di Tufo from Ciro Picariello recently arrived and it is just gosh darn delicious. Fruit, mineral, and a salty savory tang, what more could you want in a white wine?
Ciro originally produced only Fiano, because the vineyards he bought were planted only with that variety. A few years ago he started making Greco from a rented vineyard, a vineyard that he is now intending to buy. The soil is a sandy clay of volcanic origin called tuff, or 'tufo' in Italian (but the name of the appellation refers not to the soil, but to the village of Tufo, which is not far from Avellino). Picariello's Greco is made similarly to his Fiano, although the must is pressed more quickly to avoid oxidation. Indigenous yeast fermentation is used, and the wine is left on the fine lees until June following the vintage, then bottled without fining or filtration and with a modest addition of SO2 before bottling.
Ciro tells me that Greco can age like Fiano; given that he started making Greco more recently, I haven't had the chance to test this for myself, but the first Picariello wine I ever tasted was a ten-year-old bottle of Fiano di Avellino that knocked my socks off, so I have no reason to doubt it. My sense is that Ciro is getting better with this variety; I clearly preferred the Fiano when we first started working together, but the 2012 Greco is excellent white wine, savory, very minerally, long and complex.
Greco is the grape, Tufo is the village in Campania around which it's grown
Age-worthy, minerally, distinctive, complex white wine from an excellent small producer
Yellow in color; aromas and flavors of apple, flowers, citrus with a hint of apple-skin on the finish