A regal, intense and complex bouquet with aromas of ripe and slightly spicy fruit.
Enrico Di Giulio, oenologist and Pasquale Di Giulio founders of Tenute (Estate) Di Giulio and Borgo di Colloredo, tells us how ‘Giulia’ Chardonnay IGT came about.
An estate with a long tradition, founded in 1960 thanks to the foresight of the father, Silvio, who understood the great value of the land in Molise and decided to start cultivating vineyards typical for this region.
Immersed in the green of Borgo di Colloredo (Campomarino, Molise), you breathe in the history of the local vineyards along with their identity. But before we fully enter the estate, we should understand the viticulture of the region’s vineyards.
Molise and its vineyards
A small region, but Molise has a strong vocation for wine.
Among all the outstanding varieties is ‘Tintilia’, an ancient native black grape variety that risked disappearing and was brought back to ‘light’ only thanks to the wisdom of some enlightened winegrowers.
Beside Tintilia, we find the black grapes of Aglianico, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, and Ciliegiolo to which are added the international Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
There are ten primary white grape varieties in Molise. Five international, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Riesling and five local, Falanghina, Greco, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Bombino bianco and Trebbiano Toscano.
In the past, the most widely used cultivation system was the tendone, but today modern systems such as guyot, cordons and counter-espalier prevail.
The two IGTs, Osco and La Rotae and the four DOCs of Molise
The IGT Osco or Terra degli Osci includes the province of Campobasso while Rotae is part of the province of Isernia, where we also find the only denomination from Alto Molise, DOCPentro or Pentro of Isernia.
And in the province of Campobasso is the highest concentration of original denominations with Biferno DOC, Tintilia DOC and Molise DOC.
With this viticultural panorama, Enrico Di Giulio and Mario Ercolino make their own symphony of wines, leaving them to express the sensory notes of the vines.
“wine must express itself through its regionial identity and the winemaker must be a discrete director of the authentic sensory expression of the vineyards. Nothing is easier, nothing more difficult.” (Enrico Di Giulio)
A philosophy that shows itself in Chardonnay ‘Giulia’ (IGT Terra degli Osci). Refined in wood for 6 months, ‘Giulia’ is a Chardonnay of full and intense purity with great balance, softness and harmony and great persistence.
Its complex bouquet with aromas of ripe fruit and its sweet notes of vanilla and young leather immerse us in the temperate climates typical of these vines. A Chardonnay that expresses itself alone, without superstructures, and in combination with risottos, white meats or lightweight desserts, gives us all its elegance.
A Chardonnay ‘dressed in art’ and that marries the original idea of its creator:
“We wanted to achieve a pure Chardonnay that respected its origins but at the same time modern and contemporary, clothing the bottle with a label, where modern design accompanied retro symbols typical of the 1960s. And when I saw my daughter Giulia’s design, my design consultant and I had no doubt about choosing it to dress the Chardonnay bottle, even before the design was awarded first prize at a scholastic competition.”
Always with white grapes, in Tenute di Giulio, we taste two other IGTs: ‘Osco’ and ‘Traminer’. The first, a 85% Pinot grigio, is soft with hints of yellow fruits such as peach and melon. The second, a pure Traminer that competes with Trentine Doc, is a surprise for the palate with its harmonious, velvety, aromatic and deliciously spicy taste. A Traminer embracing all the sensory notes typical of the vine.
White grape vineyards
Clean and elegant white wines, reflecting the attention of Tenute Di Giulio to these white grapes and, in fact, the whites are the top in his company.
As with the white ‘Gironia’ Biferno DOC and Molise Falanghina, Gironia is a balanced composition of Trebbiano and Malvasia. Its fragrance opens with notes of tropical fruit and hints of spices and minerals. A white Biferno, fresh, pleasant tasting and soft in which we find all the elements of the Molise terroir.
Red grape vineyards
Continuing our walk in Borgo di Colloredo, we stop at vineyards with red grapes: Biferno and Tintilia.
Red Biferno takes on a connotation of prestigious finesse, also thanks to its aging in oak barrels for 24 months. Made from 80% Montepulciano grapes and 20% Aglianico, the Gironia Biferno Doc Reserve, is a wine of great structure, intense and with notes of sweet spices, chocolate and licorice. There are also the hints of jams and ripe red fruits such as cherry and plum that harmonise well with its ethereal bouquet.
Its taste-aroma consistency is fully appreciated together with braised red meat, or seasoned and spicy cheeses.
Talking about the only indigenous Molise vine, the Tintilia, Di Giulio family say:
“it was a challenge to bring on this, tough, vigorous red grape but with a high potential. A challenge that we accepted by exalting its rustic character and its aromas”.
This is how the Molise Tintilia DOC was born. Ruby red in colour with purple reflections, evident traits of its black-bluish grape.
A very special wine, with elegant spicy notes and a sweet aftertaste with hints of marasca cherry.
At the end of our visit, we stop to admire the octagonal borders of Borgo, and that coat of arms of the noble house of D’avalos still visible on the door of the church of Madonna Grande. And we understand how in that village, Di Giulio family has been able to trace a continuous line between past and present, between tradition and innovation and with full respect for love of their land.
Because there is no good wine without exalting the territorial diversity.