When Franco Nuschese said he would present his new collection in style, he spoke only the absolute truth. For the wine tasting, he flew three of his chefs and Bruno de Conciliis (Italian winemaker and owner of Viticoltori de Conciliis) from Italy. He also flew in additional personnel from his DC office to assist in the tasting and ensure the proper execution of his plans. Larry Ruvo, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) hosted the wine tasting event, assisted by Carmelo Messina, SWS’s Italian wine specialist.
All of the wines presented were native to (harvested/made in) the Campania region (Southern Italy), of which both Franco Nuschese and Bruno de Conciliis are natives.
Nuschese wines are not the type of wines that you will find in regular wine lists or in local wine stores. They are made from less available grape varietals like:
The more readily available varietals or wine grapes used in making Nuschese wines are:
Wine Reviews and Wine Tasting Notes
The Nuschese wines featured at the tasting were paired with a seven-course meal. There were nine wines in all. Two of the wines were served as an aperitif while the remaining seven were served with a specific course. It was definitely a wonderful and innovative way of presenting wines.
The following are my wine reviews of the wines featured at the Nuschese wine tasting:
Il Sogno (Italian for Dream)
60% Fiano, 30% Malvasia, 10% Moscato
Served as an aperitif
Wine tasting notes: This sparkling wine, which is not a Prosecco, is made using the Charmat method, also known as the Metodo Italiano. Unlike Champagne, it undergoes a secondary fermentation in the tank rather than in the bottle, after which phase it is bottled under pressure.
This wine has floral aromas with a touch of tropical fruits on the nose. In mouth, the aromas open up to more floral notes, and you can notice “saltiness” due to the proximity of the grape vines to the ocean. Refreshing and clean, with a smooth finish pulling more towards the acidity side.
Falanghina 2007 IGT
Served as an aperitif
Wine tasting notes: This is a white wine with the aromas of lime, grapefruit rind, lemon, green apple, and lots of jasmine. Very noticeable minerality giving way to the more tropical fruit side of this wine.
Greco di Tufo 2007 DOCG
Greco di Tufo
Paired with citrus marinated langoustine with zucchini, fennel salad and pink peppercorn olive oil
Wine tasting notes: This is an aromatic white wine. It has the aromas of melon, lime, bruised pear, and white flowers. Fresh and lively, well-balanced with good minerality notes. This has a wine style that you will not encounter often.
Fiano di Avellino 2007 DOCG
100% Fiano di Avellino
Paired with warm baby octopus salad with vegetable panzanella and Italian parsley pesto
50% Fiano di Avellino, 50% Greco di Tufo
Paired with imported paccheri pasta with sautéed Maine Lobster, marjoram and fava beans in a light spicy cherry tomato sauce
Wine tasting notes: This aromatic white wine has more complexity than the Fiano di Avellino. Its aromas of green apple, melon rind and jasmine as well as its strong terroir attributes beautifully complemented the lobster.
La Pietra 2007 (The Rock)
50% Barbera, 40% Aglianico, 10% Primitivo
Wine tasting notes: This wine is called “The Rock” after Bruno de Conciliis. It represents the more realistic side of life, as opposed to the Il Sogno (see above), which was named after Franco “the dreamer” or the visionario.
This red wine with medium plus acidity is very well suited to tomato-based dishes or even fish. It has the aromas of red cherry, raspberry preserve, green pepper, plums, a hint of white pepper, and a touch of strawberry (typical Sangiovese characteristic); yes, indeed, this wine has a splash of Sangiovese in it. Fruit forward with fruit tannins, no oak. Long finish.
Taurasi 2004 DOCG
Paired with braised veal cheek with Jerusalem artichoke pure and baby vegetables
Cassius 2005 DOC
Paired with imported Italian Pecorini cheese with truffle honey and homemade radicchio jam
Wine tasting notes: This wine is definitely unique. After drinking it, you’ll think a small piece of vanilla bean was left on your tongue! You can tell that this wine has had substantial oak contact. New World wine style aficionados will surely love this wine.
MarcAntonio 2006 DOC
Primitivo di Manduria
Paired with chocolate chili cremoso with delicious rosemary berries compote
Wine tasting notes: Very complex and sophisticated for a Primitivo di Maduria, this dark-colored, almost-black wine has the aromas of raspberry, blackberry, plum, spices, leather, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of smoke.
What a feast! I have to say that the wine pairing was executed flawlessly; the wine and the dishes were exceptionally well-matched. I look forward to visiting the de Conciliis winery this summer and enjoying the wines on site. I am sure that the trip will make for some pretty interesting posts in this wine blog.
That’s all for this wine tasting. Cheers!