The 2003 is a fascinating Serpico. The wine boasts impressive concentration in its dark, rich fruit. This is an incredibly primary Serpico, with little in the way of tertiary development. Ideally, it is best left alone for another few years, but readers fortunate enough to own this are in for a thrilling ride once the wine opens up a bit. Today it remains tightly coiled but full of potential. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023. Feudi di San Gregorio is one the leading estates in Campania and Italy. Enzo Ercolino spared no expenses in snapping up vineyards and building a state of the art facility that cranks out more than 4 million bottles per year. Along the way Feudi garnered considerable accolades from the press, perhaps too much attention for a winery that was just getting started. Today Feudi is owned and run by the Capaldo family. The estate makes a wide range of whites and reds, but the most consistently outstanding wines are the two Aglianicos Serpico and the Taurasi Piano di Montevergine. From the outset Serpico was conceived as a more approachable interpretation of Aglianico than Taurasi. The softness of some early vintages suggests other grapes may have been used to help smooth the trademark Aglianico rusticity. The Taurasi di Montevergine was initially made from a number of different parcels although today it is a true single-vineyard wine made from a late-ripening plot that sits at 700 meters above sea level. Over the years, this site has proven to be exceptional in yielding structured Taurasis that at their best capture the full breadth of Aglianico. Consulting oenologist Luigi Moio, who had just returned from a stint in France, made the wines from 1995 through 1998, although he did not see all the wines through to their bottling as he left Feudi in 1999. Moio is one of the key figures in the development of the wines of the south. His consulting projects include Caggiano and Cantina del Notaio, in addition to the superb wines he is making at his own estate, Quintodecimo. At Feudi Moio favored lengthy fermentations often reaching more than 25 days (Moio has since adopted a shorter approach to fermentations with his own wines at Quintodecimo). Malolactic fermentation was done in steel. Moio used 100% new oak for Serpico and 60% new oak for the Piano di Montevergine. Oenologist Riccardo Cotarella made the wines between 1999 and 2006. Cotarella is another seminal figure in Campania, as he pioneered Montevetrano and Terra di Lavoro - two wines that were groundbreaking when they were conceived and that continue to set a high bar for the region - as well as Feudis 100% luxury Merlot cuvee, Patrimo. Cotarella preferred shortish macerations. After the alcoholic fermentation was completed, the wines were racked into oak until spring, when they were moved into steel for the malolactic fermentations. The wines were then moved back into oak, where they completed their aging. Cotarella favored 100% new oak for both Serpico and Piano di Montevergine. Since 2006 Feudi has moved most of its winemaking in house and relied less on outside consultants.
The 2003 is a fascinating Serpico. The wine boasts impressive concentration in its dark, rich fruit. This is an incredibly primary Serpico, with little in the way of tertiary development. Ideally, it is best left alone for another few years, but readers fortunate enough to own this are in for a thrilling ride once the wine opens up a bit. Today it remains tightly coiled but full of potential.