One of the most gratifying parts of my job at Campania Wines is discovering new winemakers and developing good relationships with them which result in the honour of being allowed to sell their wines in the UK. San Salvatore is my latest find and it’s a very special place—made all the more extraordinary by the buffalo which roam the property, providing both milk for mozzarella and manure for the 100% organic fertilisers used to nourish the vines.
You’ll find San Salvatore winery in the south west part of Campania, in the heart of the Cilento National Park, an ancient land, rich in tradition, where, it is believed, Aglianico, Fiano and Greco grapes were brought in by the Ancient Greeks. San Salvatore is certified organic and cultivates using biodynamic processes, so as not to upset the delicate environmental balance of the National Park. This care is reflected in the wines which are as close as possible to their natural taste.
The winery was founded in 2004 by Giuseppe Pagano whose family were winemakers while he was still a child. His philosophy is to produce wines which appeal to today’s discerning palates, yet lovingly reflect the history and flavours of their land.
Yes, a very young company—the first harvest was as recent as 2009—but San Salvatore respects ancient artisanal methods, combining them with the use of the latest technologies to make already-great wines greater still.
Six of the best
In the UK, Campania Wines is privileged to be stocking a selection of wines from San Salvatore. Here are little snapshots of what you may expect, to tickle those taste buds:
First, the reds:
Omaggio a Gillo Dorfles Aglianico
A true masterpiece, the name inspired by Pagano’s long friendship with philosopher and painter Angelo Dorfles—in fact, every label has a Dorfles sketch in the design, different for each vintage. A spicy ruby-red wine with hints of those sharper red fruits such as mulberry and redcurrants. Perfect with red meat and strong cheeses, it more than justifies the £40 price tag.
A delicious red, robust but not too heavy, and a taste which will whisk you to autumn hedgerows bursting with blackberries and elderberries. Perfect with pizzas, marvellous with meats, choice with cheese, and costing £25.
Now here’s a fresh and fruitier red, the taste of which may bring to mind tart strawberries, but it’s not to be served with cream! No, it’s a great match for red meats and pasta, but just as good to drink by itself, for £18.
And we haven’t forgotten the white wine:
Here is a natural beauty the greeny-yellow colour of pale straw, and taste of green apples and pears with a whisper of honey. In Campania, it’s usually paired with seafood but would go well with white meats and milder cheeses. £22 well spent.
Another white for you, colour also reminiscent of straw but this time more of a golden yellow sunshine-bathed variety. With flavours of the ripest yellow fruits—peaches, nectarines, apricots—and a wonderful floral smell, this wine is a lovely aperitif, or great with risottos and vegetables, with a lovely price too, of £20.
Back to a more familiar name here, sublime white (especially when thoroughly chilled), not too dry, not too sweet, and hints of stoned fruit like apricots, plums and peaches. Try it with shellfish and vegetarian dishes, or…just try it. At £18, you’ll be smiling.
Such an array of talent, it’s hard to choose between them. Why not work your way through the list for a veritable San Salvatore experience?