Claudio Cipressi Winery, Championing Tintilia, in Molise
“My wines are what we are. To talk about my wine is to talk about each emotion I would like to find with the same intensity in every glass, every sip and every glance,” says Claudio Cipressi, an enthusiastic producer based in San Felice del Molise, between the mountains and the sea in the small Italian region of Molise.
Inexperienced wine enthusiasts often consider Molise an afterthought; the region holds the 16th place out of twenty for wine production volume and lacks the fame of prestigious regions like Tuscany or Piedmont. Nevertheless, Molise is home to passionate producers making everything right, amongst them, is Claudio Cipressi.
The Vineyards and the Grapes
At 550 meters of elevation, right between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountain Range, you’ll find Cipressi’s sixteen hectares of vineyards.
Cipressi dedicates three hectares to the grapes Falanghina, better known on the other side of the mountains, Trebbiano, the ubiquitous central Italian white grape, and Montepulciano, the king of Abruzzese red wines. The rest of Cipressi’s vineyards are planted with the local specialty Tintilia.
The winemaker takes care of all the vineyards organically with the highest respect for the environment. Grapes are picked by hand, and he crafts the wines with minimal intervention to preserve the fruit’s personality.
Claudio Cipressi’s Classic Wines
In 2011 the Italian Government granted Molise’s producers a new DOC to protect and promote the lesser-known but impressive Tintilia variety, Tintilia del Molise DOC. Today, Claudio Cipressi produces several wines with the grape, including Tintilia 66 and Macchiarossa. The estate also produces Macchianera, a Montepulciano-based wine, a rosé and a white wine based on Trebbiano.
Here are the details.
Both Tintilia 66 and Machiarossa are the most celebrated wine in Cipressi’s catalog. They’re made with 100% hand-harvested Tintilia grapes grown at 520 meters above sea level. The grapes are macerated for up to twelve days to extract the grapes’ color, and Cipressi ferments the wines with no intervention. He then ages the wines for three years in oak casks and six months in the bottle, resulting in two of the best renditions of the local grape.
Ruby red wines with garnet hues, and a spicy and balsamic nose over an intensely perfumed palate reminiscent of red forest berries. The texture is rich and full-bodied, but the tannins are round and pleasing.
Cipressi’s Macchianera, made with 85% Montepulciano and 15% Tintilia, is softer and more approachable, rustic in nature, and complex thanks to 18 months in oak casks. Expect a balanced wine of black and red fruit aromas and a spice-scented aftertaste over a robust palate.
One of Claudio Cipressi’s most exciting wines is its Tintilia Rosato, Collequinto. Refreshing and dry, this is a gorgeous rosé of elegance and finesse infused with strawberry aromas and a mineral palate.
To complete the collection, Claudio Cipressi brings a white wine to the market, too, crafted with Trebbiano grapes for an enticing bouquet of white peaches, wildflowers and citrus peels. Not dissimilar to the estate’s other wines, this beautiful white is certified organic.
Discover Molise Through Claudio Cipressi
There are few better ways of getting to know what Molise has to offer than through the wines of passionate producers dedicated to bringing the region’s wines to the spotlight.
As stated on the winemaker’s website, “If wine was one of the most important signs of civilization for Hemingway, for Claudio Cipressi, it’s giving value to the land where he was born – Molise.”