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The 2012 Antonio Caggiano Devon Greco di Tufo makes a welcome appearance, as it shines from the glass with the radiance of the Campanian sun. It also graciously offers up a fresh, captivating bouquet, which blends the best of the land and the sea: soft round fruit flavors tempered by a fresh scent of the sea and a splash of sea spray quickly emerge. Add in deft touches of acacia flower, dried honey, and quince and you’re ready to take the first sip. Caggiano’s 2012 Greco di Tufo fills the mouth with clean, lingering flavors that enliven the senses. Full-flavored, but not unctuous, this Greco offers beautiful balance and superb texture – all of which made us come back to it again and again. And unlike lesser white wines, Greco di Tufo evolves in the glass for up to an hour or more, much like a fine red wine. We suggest serving Antonio Caggiano’s captivating Campanian specialty moderately chilled (40°-45° F). One can always allow it to warm a bit in the glass after pouring for a fuller effect. Enjoy!
Caggiano’s Devon Greco di Tufo invokes the beauty of Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the incredible seafood one finds along that spectacular coastline. So, whether you are sitting at a seaside terrace in Positano high above the Amalfi Coast or looking out the window of a high rise apartment in Manhattan, the fruits of the sea will provide memorable accompaniments to the 2012 Caggiano Greco di Tufo. Bouillabaisse, Cioppino, and Rock Lobster are perennial favorites to accompany this wine. Seared Sea Scallops, topped with lemon, butter and white wine and served with sautéed spinach tossed with pasta in a creamy sauce provide an additional treat. Shrimp Scampi offers another wonderful accompaniment as does Grouper Mediterranean, grouper simmered in broth, white wine, kalamata olives, caramelized onions, and capers with a touch of marinara over angel hair pasta. Died in the wool landlubbers may prefer to pair Caggiano’s Greco di Tufo with Duck Sliders or herb infused rotisserie chicken, but Antonio Caggiano’s elegant Greco di Tufo also makes an ideal aperitif, so why not enjoy it before, during and after dinner?
By Italian standards Caggiano is a new winery, having been established commercially in 1994. Yet, Antonio Caggiano’s wine experience hardly began with the opening of his winery two decades ago. Antonio is from an old rural family who always made wine as a hobby and for personal consumption. Today, Antonio Caggiano is one of the most highly acclaimed producers of the Campania’s three most distinguished wines, Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo. He also fashions limited quantities of Falanghina and other Campanian specialties from a total of 44 acres of vines. Caggiano’s newest offering is Fiagre, a blend of Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino. All of Caggiano’s wines are limited productions and are vinified in the estate’s new modern cellar that was completed in 2006.
One of our fondest memories of Italy is a dinner we shared some years ago with Antonio Caggiano and several other Campanian winemakers at a seaside restaurant along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Caggiano’s delightful wines left an indelible mark upon our palates for their freshness and purity. We are happy to report years later that as much as change is part of life, some things remain the same, while others get even better. Caggiano’s wines are in fact better than ever and we are looking forward to a visit with Antonio at his winery again this year.
Italy’s Campania retains the allure and magic of ancient mythology. From the mystifyingly beautiful Amalfi Coast that still manages to conjure visions of gods and sirens, pleasure and lore, to the volcanic, fog shrouded spine of the Appenines that bisect the Italian peninsula, the Campania never fails to enchant. Known to the Romans as the Campania Felix, meaning the “joyous country” or the “face with an open smile,” the Campania is the ancient province of the Roman Empire that sits just south of Rome and neighboring Latium. As its name implies, this region produces friendly, gregarious wines in addition to an abundance of high quality produce.
At the height of the Roman Empire, the Campania served as the granary of Rome, supplying sustenance to the capital and provisions to the legions of soldiers and magistrates who administered an empire. Today, Campania continues the tradition by furnishing Rome and Naples with a host of culinary delights, most notably fresh, delicious fruit, vegetables, and of course wine. And although Campania languished for more than a century from the deleterious effects of war, political neglect, and phylloxera, it has in the past few decades witnessed a real renaissance in its wine industry. Specifically, Campania has re-focused its attention on its traditional assets: a host of premium grape varieties, both indigenous and transplanted, such as Aglianico, Piedirosso, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avellino to name just a few.
Three of Campania’s wines merit DOCG status, Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, and Taurasi, more than any other region of southern Italy. They are all born on the hills between Benevento and Avellino, and not surprisingly many of the region’s finest wineries produce all three. Taurasi is made from Aglianico, the highly flavorful red variety the Greeks brought to southern Italy more than 2,500 years ago. In the past century, it has again emerged as one of Italy’s greatest red grapes, yielding staggeringly rich wines of depth, power, and age ability. In the Taurasi, Aglianico can match the finest red wines made anywhere in Italy, including the best wines of Tuscany and Piedmont. And what could be more exemplary of the good nature and open character of the land and people of the Campania than the region’s fabulous white wines, Greco di Tufo and Fiano Di Avellino? In the past three decades Greco di Tufo and Fiano Di Avellino have re-claimed their rightful places among the finest white wines in the world, and the list goes on. So no matter if red or white wine is your preference, the wines of Campania are sure to put a smile on your face.
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