Lorenzo Piccin is a winemaker living in Torino, just half an hours drive or so from the world famous Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards. But his winery is on the other side of the country, and every few weeks he takes a 12 hour overnight bus down to Basilicata and the village of Rionero in Vulture, at the foot of Monte Vulture. Here there is zero Nebbiolo, this is Aglianico country. This fact alone tells you how passionate he is about the vineyards and the wine of this remote region, and how unique and special they are. Monte Vulture is about 30 miles east of Avellino and the other famous Aglianico zone of Taurasi, and it shares many similarities, but there are also distinct differences. The Vulture Mountain is an ancient, dormant volcano and the rich, black soils are exactly what Aglianico needs to gain both power and structure. But the vineyards here are generally higher elevations than Taurasi, some of the highest in Southern Italy, and there is almost constant cold, dry winds coming from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The days are warm and very sunny and the nights cool off rapidly, even in the middle of summer, which leads to a long slow growing season. Again, perfect for Aglianico. Lorenzo’s family is actually from Tuscany, and his parents had a successful winery in the Vino Nobile DOCG of Montepulciano before selling it in the late 1990’s. Lorenzo’s father than started a new project in Vulture, and after spending several harvests helping out he decided he wanted his own winery and began leasing 6 hectares of vines that now make up the San Martino label. Because of the cold, dry winds and high elevations Lorenzo says it is relatively easy to farm organically, and he has done so from day one. In the winery everything is gentle and a without manipulation, only small amounts of SO2 are added when necessary. The goal is to avoid over extraction, and indeed the wines of San Martino are elegant and balanced, built on frames of both tannin and crisp acidity. They are a far cry from the rich, high abv fruit bombs that some producers made famous here 20 years ago.
Earthy , Fruity , Spicy