Tenuta Scuotto
Eduardo Scuotto is producing the wines of the Irpinia hills in Lapio, close to Avellino: Falanghina and DOCG Taurasi, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino. Eduardo’s son Adolfo is the Commercial Director.
 
Oinì 2011: Made from 100% Fiano, this is a late harvest wine vinified dry with prolonged contact with the lees. It is complex, with floral and fruity nuances, hints of roses, magnolias, honey, dried apricots, tropical fruits, fennel and toasted apricots. A winner. It retains its youthful glow, even after 4 years. A wine of meditation. 93 points
 
Cantine di Marzo
Although one of the original producers of Greco di Tufo DOCG, this classic winery and its cellars have received a new vitality. Recently, Ferrante di Somma di Circello bought out all of his relatives and has breathed into Cantine di Marzo a fresh spirit.
 
Greco di Tufo 2014: Brilliant, straw to yellow hue, aromas of peaches and orange blossoms, melons, tropical fruits. We also tasted a 1990 Greco, still remarkable for a white wine of 25 years. 91 points 
 
Macchie S. Maria
Oreste De Santis took us through his wines, grown in the well-ventilated hillsides of Montemiletto near Avellino.
 
Monte Santa Maria Taurasi 2010: This is a bold, dry red, showing its altitude with floral notes and dark fruit, amarena cherries, mild tannins, black pepper, cloves. Spicy and complex. It will develop in the bottle for a decade or more. 92 points
 
Tenute Bianchino
Concetta Bianchino runs the family estate in Falciano del Massico near Caserta. Her wines exhibit a fresh, fruity, lively character.
 
Aglianico 2014: Clean and bright, this youthful, dry red shows notes of strawberries, currants and pleasant minerality. It is one of our favorite young Aglianicos. Good value. 90 points
 
Cantine Rao
In Caiazzo, not far from Caserta, Cantine Rao works not only with the popular local varietals, but also with Pallagrello and Casavecchia.
 
Silva Rubra 2012: 60% Aglianico, 20% Nero Pallagrello and 20% Casavecchia. Harvested late with over two weeks of maceration on the skins, this ripe blend spends over a year in tonneaux and almost another year of refinement in the bottle. Notes of plums, cherries, spices, licorice and cacao. Good balance and structure. 93 points
 
Terre di Valter
Emanuela Landi and agronomist Roberto Landi, together with enologist Raffaele De Martino, are keeping alive the dream of Valter Landi, the late father of Emanuela and Roberto. Their estate is in the Irpinia Valley near Avellino.
 
Ventidue marzo (22nd of March) 2013: Dedicated to their father Valter, this dry, fresh red has a deep ruby color, with overtones of violets and wild berries. Fruitiness is balanced with a judicious use of oak. Enjoy this wine young or in the next 3 to 5 years. 90 points
 
Donnachiara
Umberto Petitto and his dynamic daughter Ilaria constructed the family’s modern cellars in 2005. The winery is named for Ilaria’s mother, Chiara Petitto. We found all of her wines to be true and excellent, and deserving of the acclaim that Donnachiara wines are currently receiving internationally. Angelo Antonio Valentino is the enologist.
 
Taurasi 2011: Both regular and Riserva Taurasi were exquisite. In the regular Taurasi, you can feel the harmony of fruit, acidity and oak. Ruby red with traces of violets in the edges of the hue, intense blackberries, plums, cherries in the fragrance. Overtones of cacao, mocha and espresso in the mouth and on the finish. Dry, warmly elegant. A lingering, persistent finish.94 points
 
Tenuta Cavalier Pepe
Angelo Pepe’s estate is capably run by his daughter Milena, a French-trained enologist. Her wines were a great and pleasant discovery for us. Her Bianco di Bellona was the finest Coda di Volpe that we had ever tasted. From Falanghina to Taurasi Riserva, the verdict was always the same: superb – and we can’t wait to try next year’s production.
 
Nestor, Greco di Tufo 2014: Nestor was the eldest of the Greek warriors during the Trojan War. He was the last to speak at the councils and he was respected by everyone. Nestor, the wine, is a brilliant straw to yellow, with the fragrance of white peaches and notes of flowers and citrus. Spicy and complex. A rich, smooth mouthfeel and a persistent finish. It is a winner that has earned our respect. 94 points
 
Azienda Agricola San Salvatore 1988
We have left the hills of Caserta and Avellino and have journeyed south to Paestum, close to the sea and known for its Greek ruins. Sea breezes touch the hills. The busy proprietor of San Salvatore, Giuseppe Pagano, also owns two beautiful hotels and about 450 bufala, water buffaloes that came from India centuries ago. They provide buffalo mozzarella cheese for us to enjoy with Mr. Pagano’s fine wines. The wines are all top flight, from the Aglianico-based, metodo classico sparkling rose, Joi, to the collectible Paestum IGT biodynamic Aglianico red, dedicated to European artist Gillo Dorfles. The sea, the ruins, the cheese – it all seems to go together. San Salvatore wines are made with the assistance of consulting enologist Riccardo Cotarella.
 
Falanghina 2014: 100% Falanghina aged completely in stainless steel at low temperatures. It is textbook, flawless Falanghina. You want a second glass. Pale straw in color, delicate with notes of vanilla. 92 points