Tintilia, Molise – Names that are perhaps not on tip of your tongue. Understandable, but a shame. Molise is truly the stepchild of Italian regions. It never gets mentioned and doesn’t get the love it deserves. I’m culpable of this too. The past two years at Vinitaly however I have tried to remedy that situation and have gone out of my way to taste the wines from Molise. Everyone knows two wineries from the area – Di Majo Norante and Azienda Agricola Angelo d’Uva. I wanted to try wines from a couple of wineries that I didn’t know however. And that’s how I found Colle Sereno. They make a couple of different wines which I tasted but the most memorable was the Tintilia, an indigenous grape from Molise. The winery was founded in 1975 and has over 75 hectares of vineyards. They have different vineyards at various elevations and grow Chardonnay, Falanghina, Greco, Pinot Grigio, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Aglianico and Tintilia of Molise. The grapes are organically certified.
Tintilia del Molise produces deep ruby red wines that are full bodied with considerable tannins and alcohol. It tends to produce spicy, pepper noted wines with black fruit. I liked it and found that it retains that Italian bitter note on the finish. Unfortunately these wines are not yet in the States but wine-searcher had this list of wines made with Tintilia available in the USA. A grape variety to get to know and to add to your ever growing list of Italian indigenous grapes. I’m also adding a link to a website in Italian of an amazing journalist and expert of all things gastronomic from Molise, Pasquale di Lena. I met Pasquale years ago through Fred Plotkin, Pasquale is the Molisano version of Fred.