Greco di Tufo; still or sparkling? Or … what exactly is that?

Wines Tasted

  1. Feudi di San Gregorio, Campania, Italy Greco di Tufo sparkling, NV
  2. Feudi di San Gregorio, Campania, Italy, Greco di Tufo, 2012

The weather in Hong Kong has been pretty gloomy of late so to cheer myself up I’ve been thinking of all those chilled wines I intend to enjoy as I attempt to manage the inevitable heat and humidity that is coming…

Recently I’ve tasted a couple of wines from the producer Feudi di San Gregorio in Campania, southern Italy. Riccardo Cotarella, winemaker at Feudi di San Gregorio and Anselme Selosse of the renown Selosse Champagne teamed up to produce a range of sparkling wines made using the traditional method employed for making champagne but in this case using Italian grapes. My first taste was a rosé made from Aglianico grapes and to be honest the DUBL Aglianico left me pretty ambivalent – very dry, an overabundance of cherry flavours and rather prickly bubbles which left me rather dubious about the second bottle I had in the fridge, the DUBL Greco … how wrong I was!


Source: Wine Folly

The DUBL Greco is a completely different wine. An intoxicating nose of heady white flowers alongside aromas of apples and peach as well as rich notes of butter. These aromas continued through to the palate and were joined by a good dose of mineral flavours on the finish. With M. Selosse involved in the production of this wine it is perhaps no surprise to find some oxidative aromas and flavours for which his own champagne is known, so if that isn’t to your liking you may not enjoy this sparkling as much as I did. I drank the DUBL Greco as an aperitif served with roasted almonds tossed in paprika and salt. The combination worked – the salt nicely balanced the high acidity of the wine leaving notes of baked apples or tarte tatin to settle on the palate. Those prickly bubbles appear again in this wine and although not my preference it didn’t stop me refilling my glass!

F d SG Dubl Aglianico F d SG DUBL Greco

As it turned out I found, tucked away in our wine fridge, a still wine made from that same grape, Greco, and made by the same producer – an opportunity to compare the two styles that was too good to pass up. The still Greco di Tufo has lovely aromas of melon, the subtlest hint of grilled pineapple, peach, lemon and white flowers reminding me of almond blossoms and jasmine. As with the sparkling version the flavours flowed through to the palate and again finished with a distinctive mineral sensation, one that made me think of the smell of hot stones that have just been rained on. The wine has a good balance of tropical and citrus notes that lead to a good mineral finish making it another winner for me.

F d SG Greco di Tufo

Greco is an ancient grape produced in the south of Italy from at least 2,500 years ago, after being brought to Italy from Greece. [1] While the word Greco refers to the grape variety, Tufo refers to the village around which much Greco di Tufo is grown. The name of the village is in reference to the name of the tufaceous soil of the region, which is a type of yellowish calcareous and clay soil. Typically Greco is used to produce a still dry wine although both sparkling, as we have already seen, and sweet wines called Greco di Bianco are also made.

So with a few bottles from Feudi di San Gregorio in the fridge, maybe the heat and humidity will be just that little bit more bearable …

Happy Drinking!

Related Happy Wine Woman posts – Italy

Emilia-Romagna – Lambrusco

Piemonte – Vietti

Tuscany – Il Molino di Grace



Feudi di San Gregorio

Learn Italian Wines

Where can you get these wines?

Feudi di San Gregorio distribution

Sarment Wines

Wine Searcher

1.Clarke, Oz & Rand, Margaret. Grapes & Wines. New York: Sterling Epicure, 2012. Page 112.

Gin Glorious Gin!


Four Pillars

Gins Tasted

  1. Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, Yarra Valley, Australia
  2. G’Vine Floraison, Cognac, France
  3. G’Vine Nouaison, Cognac, France

A recent review of our cellar revealed that the winery Giant Steps (GS) has a lot to answer for when it comes to my drinking choices. Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander both hold a long standing spot in our cellar but that has now expanded to include wines made independently by former and current GS winemakers, such as Salo Wines (winemakers Steve Flamsteed and Dave Mackintosh, current and former winemakers for GS), Ar Fion (Dave Mackintosh), Dirty Three Wines (Cameron Mackenzie former winemaker with GS) and now, if that wasn’t enough, Four Pillars Gin, headed up by Cameron Mackenzie, seems to have snuck its way into our house. Mr. Sexton, we really need to talk if my liver is to survive!!

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48 hours in Épernay: Day 2 Champagne Gosset

Champagne Gosset logo

Champagnes Tasted

  1. Gosset, Grand Blanc de Blancs, NV
  2. Gosset, Grand Rosé
  3. Gosset, Grand Reserve
  4. Gosset, Celebris 2002, Extra Brut

The final appointment for the 48 hours I spent in Épernay was to Champagne Gosset in rue Godart Roger with the absolutely lovely Nathalie Dufour, Export Sales Administrator. Despite Nathalie’s best efforts and although the sun was shining I couldn’t bring myself to part with my jacket as we set off for a tour around the facilities – it was a true winter’s day!

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48 hours in Épernay: Day 2 Salon and Delamotte

SalonDelamotte copy

Champagnes Tasted

  1. Delamotte, Brut
  2. Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs,NV
  3. Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs, 2002
  4. Delamotte, Rosé 
  5. Salon, Blanc de Blancs, 1999
  6. Salon, Blanc de Blancs, 1997
  7. Salon, Blanc de Blancs, 1996

Following my visit to Besserat de Bellefon I had dinner at Les Avises where by sheer good fortune I happened to arrive a little earlier than most of the guests so the other party at the restaurant very kindly offered to share their first bottle with me… the party being led by M. Didier Despond, of Salon and Delamotte and the first bottle being none other than a 1997 Salon. How lucky I felt at that moment especially as I had tasted the 1996 earlier in the year and was very excited to be able to compare the two.

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48 hours in Épernay: Day 1 Besserat de Bellefon

Bessert de Bellefon logo

Champagnes Tasted

  1. Besserat de Bellefon, Blanc de Blancs NV
  2. Besserat de Bellefon, Brut Rosé NV
  3. Besserat de Bellefon, Brut NV
  4. Besserat de Bellefon, Extra Brut
  5. Besserat de Bellefon, Brut 2002

Besserat de Bellefon was founded in Aÿ in 1843 by Edmond Besserat and two generations later a grandson of the same name married Yvonne de Méric de Bellefon, thus creating the family crest under which the champagne is known today. In 1971 the company was bought by Pernod-Ricard who, in the 1990s, sold it to what is now known as Lanson BCC and this is where I find myself for the third appointment of my first day in Épernay.

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48 hours in Épernay: Day 1 Champagne Lenoble

Champagne Lenoble logo copy

Champagnes Tasted

  1. Champagne AR Lenoble, Cuvee Intense NV
  2. Champagne AR Lenoble, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Chouilly, NV
  3. Champagne AR Lenoble, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Chouilly, 2006

I first encountered Champagne AR Lenoble at the Altaya Wines Annual Tasting last year. So when I realised I was going to be in Épernay I immediately contacted Antoine Malassagne, one of the two owners and great grandson of the founder, Armand-Raphaël Graser, who kindly agreed to have me visit.

Pulling into the small offices in Damery it was immediately clear this is a smaller, family run business. As I waited for my appointment, I chatted with a sommelier from Paris who had driven down and packed his Mini to the brim with stock for his restaurant – it would appear I am not the only one who finds these bubbles delicious!

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48 hours in Épernay: Day 1 Perrier-Jouët

PJ logo

Champagne Tasted

  1. Perrier-Jouët, Belle-Époque, 2006

Champagne and I have long been friends, and when I say Champagne I do use the word loosely whilst reflecting on all I have learned in my wine studies. I love a good glass of bubbles and in my world every day is an occasion to celebrate with bubbles! As I have spent more time “studying” wine my tastes have changed and I have come to adore the biscuity, yeast characteristics of aged sparkling wine sitting alongside the mouth watering acidity of all those citrus and green fruits.

At the end of last year I happened to find myself in London and with an invitation or two to visit Épernay, a Eurostar ticket in my hand and the GPS enabled on my phone I set off to get up close and personal with those bubbles…

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