La Guardiense makes some of Southern Italy's best value reds. Aglianico is their speciality. Rich and dark with a full bodied palate of raisins, dark plums, red flowers, spice and incense
The Wine Region
Campania is the gateway to the south of Italy, entering via Lazio to the north. On reaching the vineyards here, you can find a wealth of indigenous and international varieties, of which there are 57 permitted across the region (the 'Heinz' of Italy, as I like to call it), added to that you have many sub-regions dominated with volcanic soil, making it a destination for lovers of distinctive and authentic wines.
Surprisingly for the South, the whites here are, on average, pretty good, owing to the high quality grape varieties such as Fiano, Falanghina and Greco, each of which having its own distinctive character. Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo certainly being among the highlights. Here you can also find powerful reds, notably from the south's most noble black variety, Aglianico, where it reaches its peak with the wines of Taurasi from the historic producer Mastroberardino. Off the beaten track, right at the end of the Apennines you will find the lesser known DOC of Sannio, home to one of the South of Italy's best co-operatives (and the hardy, ancient tribe of the Samnites who held off the onslaught of the Roman Army for decades), La Guardiense. We are mightily impressed by the quality of wine that this relatively large producer can turn out, in particular their Falanghina. Always pursuing our quest for exciting and authentic wines, we happened across the wines of Guido Marsella - quite a remarkable producer of Fiano di Avellino, which has impressive ageing potential
La Guardiense is a co-operative in Guardia Sanfremondo in the hills of Campania. Although it is a relatively large producer, they have many great assests at their disposal. Most importantly fantastic vineyards which are located at the tail end of the Appenines in the foothills. The highly talented winemaker Marco Giulioli is aided by Southern Italy's most renowned oenologist Riccardo Cotarella and together their combined expertise and knowledge of the region has led them to create a range of contemporary yet traditional wines.