Ippolito Ripe del Falco Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva 1996

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This year New Year’s eve brought with it great company, wine and food. One of the many wonderful bottles I drank last night was a fascinating southern Italian wine from Calabria (tip of the boot) made with the indigenous Gaglioppo grape. One of the oldest grapes on the planet, Gaglioppo is related to Sangiovese, but tastes more like a more feminine version of Aglianico.

Ippolito is the oldest winery still extant in Calabria and are traditionalists to boot, having maintained their style since their founding in 1845. This particular wine is made with long macerations and all old oak.

The wine is transparent light red, and possesses feminine lightness to the texture along with intense fruit and powerful, yet refined tannin. For a 16 year old wine, this was incredibly youthful, integrated and still driven by primary fruit. It was also a wonderful pairing for the Spanish meatballs in saffron and almond sauce course with which we coupled it.

This is exciting, fascinating wine that shows the quality of yet another fantastic indigenous Italian grape. I highly recommend trying these wines if you see them.

~$40 at Liner and Elsen


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