- WinemakerMassimo Di Renzo
- AppellationLacryma Christi del Vesuvio
- Aging/CooperageFermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures. Refinement in bottle one month prior to release.
- Harvest DateHand harvested in October
Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio Rosso Campania 2021
Mastroberardino – yes, that very same historic winery in Campania that has been all over the wine world’s various TOP 100 lists over the past several years – has outdone themselves with this incredibly cool Southern Italian sipper. Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio is in Naples, near the base of Mt. Vesuvius, and this local red grape has been revered since the days of the Roman Empire. Light, pretty, spicy, and the absolute best thing to have with the local cuisine – namely, Pizza Margherita alla Napoletana. For Under $25 – you need to try this!
Mastroberardino was founded in 1878, and since WWII, they’ve almost single handedly made the world take notice of Southern Italy as a producer of world-class wines. Now run by tenth-generation vintner, Piero Mastroberardino, their focus is on another local grape, aglianico, which most recently snagged them #6 wine of 2023 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100. Less famous, yet no less delicious, is this obscure grape, piedirosso.
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio is one of the world’s most ancient vineyard sites, where grapes have been cultivated for wine production since the 5th century B.C.E.!! The uber-rare, completely delicious piedirosso grape – grown on the ashen, volcanic slopes of Mt. Vesuvius – makes for high-toned, juicy, soft, fresh, and simply downright FUN wines that you’ll love… on their own or with a pizza, or pasta, tomato salad, you name it! If you love Etna Rosso, or deep and mineral Red Burgundies, or the high-toned aromatics of Spanish mencia – you’re gonna love it!
The story goes that Lucifer stole a piece of heaven (don’t try thinking of the logistics...just roll with it), and God immediately recognized the foothills beneath Mt. Vesuvius as that missing heavenly plot. He proceeded to shed tears for the sacred land that was lost, and where his tears fell, grapevines sprung up in their place, and “Christ’s Tears of Vesuvius” was born! That was the story that helped keep the vines from extinction anyways, propagated by monks and clergy in the middle ages.
Religious or not, this is a wine to be EXPERIENCED! Fresh, pretty aromatics of rose, and hibiscus, and plum blossoms, with an enticingly earthy roasted coffee bean note. In the mouth, taste sour cherries, crushed raspberries, and red plums, with a salty sea air quality and a tinge of deep, iron ore. Low alcohol, soft, supple, and bone-dry, this wine has a brightness, and a savoriness too – and is perfectly balanced throughout as only heavenly tears could be. New grapes from unknown regions are always fun, but this is a wine that delivers far beyond mere convention. Get more than you think, and you WILL NOT regret it!
PAIRING IDEAS: Like I said, Pizza Margherita alla Napoletana – buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, fresh basil, and a dusting of oregano, all baked hot and fast on a thin crust, with bubbly, lightly charred edges. Finish it with a drizzle of olive oil, and that’s it… the world’s most perfect pairing.