I first heard the name Montevetrano more than 19 years ago from a friend in Milan who knew the family. He had a birthday this week and has been on my mind so I thought I would write about this lovely wine. I met part of the family in 1997 and finally met Silvia Imparato in 2010 at Vinitaly when I was translating for the Wine Spectator at meetings they held with various regions of Italy.
I found her to be very approachable and open then as I did at the most recent OperaWine event this year. Imparato makes wines with Riccardo Cotarella as her winemaker in Montevetrano, a small area near Salerno in the Campania region of Italy. Her wines are made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Aglianico, the signature indigenous grape of this region.
The grapes are harvested in the same order as they are listed above. The grapes ferment in steel tanks for 15-20 days after a long maceration on the skins for 20 days. The grapes sustain numerous pressings, according to the website, and 15% is bleed off thereby concentrating the wine. It is then aged in new barriques for 12 months and spends six months in the bottle before it is released. The wine can age 10-15 years.
The soils on the property are rich in fossils with a Mediterranean climate and protection from the wind by the nearby mountain range. The grapes are listed under the Colli di Salerno IGT denomination. I find the wine to be very lush and full bodied with lavish nuances of fruit and spice as well as oak tones. The wine is sure to please those who look for refined wines with power. I often find Cotarella’s wines to have a signature style, like any of the top winemaking consultants, but this one in particular shows the force of the indigenous variety as well as the hand of the expert winemaker.