Cripto Metodo Classico, I Borboni
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Ready or drink by 2027
The fresh/sour taste is amazing with a lot of fresh cheese: Buffalo mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and basil, burrata and anchovies (for the more adventurous) or a baked potato filled with a cheese sauce
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By Daniela Pareschi
Exclusively for Roscioli Wine Club & Rimessa Roscioli
Our collection of eno-gastronomically and over-indulged superheroes - prints, accessories and more...
To describe Asprinio, I’d like to refer to Mario Soldati’s famous book Vino al Vino - In search of Genuine Wine (1968), upon seeing a sign for Asprinio gelato in Campania:
"But which Asprino? Couldn't it be, by chance, Asprinio di Aversa?"
“From Aversa, of course. What other Asprino could there be?."
I firmly believed that the memory of Asprino was also lost. I myself knew it only by proxy. Paolo Monelli, in his beautiful book Il vero bevitore - ’The Real Drinker', says he tasted it several times.
Anyway, I am happy to discover that there are still those who press the Asprino. And there are still those who drink it, Luigi Veronelli (Italian gastronome, wine critic and intellectual), speaking to me, compares it to the Portuguese vinhos verdes. I taste it now, for the first time, and I am amazed. He continues:
There is no white in the world as absolutely dry as Asprinio: none. Because the most famous dry whites, the wines of the Rhine and Alsace, the Fendant of Valais, the Hungarian Tokaj, the Sylvaner of Yugoslavia, the Zinandàli of Georgia, and even the Pouilly Fuissé, even the Blanc de Blancs always include, in their more or less intense and more or less persistent perfume, there is some very vague vein of sweetness. Asprino, no. The Asprino smells faintly, almost of lemon: but, on the other hand, it is of a total, substantial dryness that cannot be imagined if it is not tasted. Think of a "martini" (ie dry martini, gin and lemon) muffled, with a prodigy, in wine, or a lemon juice revived in wine with an equal and opposite prodigy. That's why I don't agree with Monelli, nor with these Triunfo customers, who drink it as an aperitif. When fasted, some palates may also find it excessively sour. In my opinion, the Asprino goes well especially with fish.
But what a wine! What a great "little wine"! And how difficult it was to define it, to find brothers, cousins, even distant relatives of any similarity! I sip it, eyes closed, concentrated. I tried to recapture, one after the other, and separately from each other, sensations as faint, as evanescent as those linked to the memory of a dry white drunk in the past, who knows where, and to compare them, one by one, to the sensation I felt at that moment with the Asprino. It finally seemed to me that I could say that, among the wines of my knowledge (I do not know, for example, the Portuguese suggested by Veronelli), Asprino doesn’t resemble a single other wine...
How ironic? We felt the same curiosity and intrigue of this Cripto Metodo Classico Asprino (from the word aspro, or sour/sharp). Our mouths puckered, like I was a little kid eating Lemon Heads, and sip by sip, we were less shocked, to the point of developing a crush on it. Especially after we had found out from Nicola that this grape had been systematically ripped out by the government to plant other grapes nearly a century ago. Yet here it was, saved by a heroic family going against the grain clinging to traditions, still moving us, on our wine path in our search of genuine wines for the wine club, quite reminiscent of our friend Soldati.
Sadly this story will finish with a catastrophic event which took place last year to one of the most magical vineyards I had ever seen in my life (watch the video above to see the full story on I Borboni). And this was one of the first times I heard a winemaker report a seriously tragic event caused by climate change, coupled with the misfortune that the gentleman (aka hero) who was responsible for trimming the vigne maritate (vineyards which are ‘married’ between poplar trees and reach up to 45 feet) developed vertigo and could no longer climb up the skinny, precarious ladders used, such that when a uncharacteristically strong tropical wine storm passed through, it knocked down and decimated their 300 year vineyard tradition - something you don't replace overnight, but only after another 300 years if you're extremely lucky in a modern world against traditions and time. Paradoxically, one little parcel remains, saved only by the despised suburban building atrocities of the area which created a cement wall to block the vines from the wind.
P.S...This bottle of Cripto Metodo Classico was specially disgorged for the Roscioli Wine Club - something that Nicola only did for us.