Cantina del Taburno was built in 1972 in the town of Foglianise on the slopes of Mount Taburno. The winery is owned by the “Consorzio Agrario di Benevento” (Agricultural Consortium of Benevento), which was founded in 1901 to promote development of agriculture in the Sannio region of Italy.
The winery uses grapes harvest from vineyards (approximately 1,500 acres) spread among the towns of Foglianise, Torrecuso, Vitulano, Campoli del Monte Taburno, Castelpoto, Apollosa, Bonea, Montesarchio, Ponte, Tocco Caudio, Paupisi and Benevento. Many factors contribute to the exceptional quality of the grapes, including soil (a mix of clay and calcareous), climate (mild Winters with Fall and Spring rainfall and warm, dry Summers) and the slope-side positioning of the vineyards. The consortium has also been very careful to ensure that the most modern wine-making techniques are employed at the winery.
As a consortium-owned facility, the winery is used by approximately 300 grape growers. The primary red grape vinified at the winery is Aglianico del Sannio, with other minor red varietals, such as Piedirosso and Sciascinoso present. The primary white grape vinified is Falanghina, with other minor white varietals, such as Coda di Volpe, Greco and Fiano present. Despite the breadth of wines produced, one of the most-popular wines is the Fidelis.
The Fidelis is a blend of 90% Aglianico along with Sangiovese and Merlot. The vineyards are located on slopes approximately 1,000 – 1,800 feet above sea-level and have a southeast and northeast exposure. The soils, as previously noted are clay and calcareous, which add a distinctive minerality to the wine. Vine density is limited to no more than 1,500 per acre with a Guyot trellis system to promote maximum sun absorption. Harvesting is accomplished entirely by hand with only the ripest clusters being chosen and used in the must. Extended maceration to improve color and phenolic saturation, along with full malolactic fermentation to promote roundness, are employed in the winery. The wine is then aged in second and third use oak barriques to smooth and temper the wine.
The wine is a delight on the palate with vibrant, dark fruit flavors and pretty floral notes. Well-balanced with firm acidity and great structure, the wine makes for a very pleasant accompaniment to a meal. Not for long term aging, but the wine will gain complexity with a few more years in bottle.
The wine is a great value, with an average cost of $17.99/bottle. In some markets, the wine is certainly priced to move at $10.99/bottle, which represents a fantastic everyday wine. Despite the bargain price, the high-quality of the grapes and production are clearly in evidence in the wine.