Back in 2013, after his university studies in Agricultural Sciences and a brief stint in the corporate world, Raffaele, driven by his insatiable ambition and inspired by a special encounter with Campania’s legendary winemaker Antoine Gaeta of Villa Diamante, decided to join the family winery with a clear objective: to elevate Taurasi to the Olympus of Italian wines.
Located in the beautiful Piano d’Angelo, just outside Taurasi, at 350m above sea level, the cantina has about seven hectares of volcanic vineyards cultivated with Aglianico (6hc) and Grego Musc’Roviello (1hc) mostly aged between 40 and 80 years old. Most impressively Raffaele owns about 1.5 hectares of some of the oldest pre-phylloxera vines in the world aged between 150 and 220 years old. From this vineyard, Raffaele produces his legendary Primum Riserva, praised by top wine critics as one of Italy’s most noble red wines.
In the cellar Raffale is supported by enologist Fortunato Sebastiano, a local legend in Irpinia thanks to his deep knowledge of Campania’s local varieties and unparalleled vineyard management experience gained working for over 20 years for some of the most prestigious wineries in the area. Raffaele and Sebastiano are both focused on producing pure and clean expressions of the fruit of Irpina and for this reason they follow a traditional and minimal intervention approach in their winemaking.
Raffaele produces a limited quantity of his top Aglianico wines, specifically 3,300 bottles of Aglianico Memini and 2,600 bottles of the mighty Primum Riserva. Both fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in used large 25hl Slavonian oak (the Memini for 6 to 8 months and the Primum for approximatively 12 months). After bottling, both wines rest in the winery for about 6 to 8 months so are ready to drink upon release. However, as with most Aglianico wines, they express their fullest potential after time spent in the cellar. Once open, the experience is explosive. Raffaele’s wines are deep and ethereal, with broad, rich and penetrating aromas on the nose and seductive fruit-driven notes.
Raffaele is building a sensational global reputation and his tiny production sells out upon release.
Ultravino is the UK exclusive importer