Biferno Rosso Riserva, Palladino, Molise, Italy 2013

Biferno Rosso Palladino.jpg
Biferno Rosso Palladino.jpg

Biferno Rosso Riserva, Palladino, Molise, Italy 2013


Presumably someone at this winery had a fat-fingered moment with the calculator when they were working out the cost price of this wine, because it's anomalously good value for what it has to offer. It’s a wine that doesn’t know how good it is.

Swirling with the authentic, sun-drenched, plummy aromas and flavours of the South, it’s succulent and juicy, not heavy or jammy, with more going on than you deserve from a wine at this price.

Biferno Rosso is an appellation in Italy's second smallest province, Molise, and is a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico. As this is a riserva (yes, a riserva… for £9.50!) it was aged in large oak casks for the full and requisite 18 months. That's the bare facts dispensed with, so let's skip to the good bit.

Firstly, there’s a reassuringly natural concentration to the colour, which can't be said for a lot of wines at this price (Spoiler Alert: many wines, inexpensive ones in particular, have their colour enhanced and it often shows in an unnatural, 'cosmetic' appearance, like a bulldog wearing lipstick). The colour here is medium-deep (almost, but not quite opaque when a quarter glass is tilted over white surface), but the colour shows all the way to the rim, a good sign of natural fruit concentration.

Molise is wedged between Abruzzo and Puglia and the aromas at play here are a gorgeous mash-up of the two regions, showing the sweetly perfumed plum and kola that I associate with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and the inky, black fruit that you find in Aglianico from the deep south. But it doesn't stop there. There's dried orange peel, red flowers, wood polish, vanilla, tangy cherry.. it's packed with fascination and an authentic southern feel. The palate is succulent and juicy, not a typical southern behemoth (the alcohol is only 13% abv), but a medium-bodied red with a sense of plushness and bags of interest from its time ageing in oak and bottle. Drink it, predictably, with dishes from the area (spaghetti with pork and fennel seed sausages or cavatelli with pumpkin) and if there's a better wine to go with a simple pasta al pomodoro then I haven't tasted it yet (if you’re going for the authentic Molise experience, then the local pasta shapes are cavatelli and sagne incannulate). 13% alc. Drink now-2022.

Customer comments:

"Very good and very good value." - Mr. T.B.

"Wine went down a storm last night. Nothing but rave reviews." - Mr. B.T.

An absolutely delicious wine!" - Mr. R.E.

"I love that Biferno! Can I order another case?" - Mr. M.E.

Both of those bottles are exceptional. I commend your palette!" - Mr. G.P.

Press review:

Decanter: "Sandwiched between Abruzzo and Puglia on the east coast of Italy, Molise is one of the country's smallest wine regions, but is gaining recognition for its very enjoyable wines. This is a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico, in a rustic style, and it's crying out for pasta. It is bold and powerful with a complex nose of blackberry fruits, while the palate is velvety with firm tannins and a nice creamy oak finish." 91 points

The Sunday Times:
"This comes at you with a wave of dark, concentrated fruit, blueberry and a hint of raspberry jam. Once sipped it is very smooth, but perfectly in sync, and it leaves a wonderful dry impression." Will Lyons

Jancis Robinson on the 2009 vintage (the most recent review): “Flies out the glass. Damson jam richness and Turkish Delight. Quite velvety, full bodied, bit of bacon and char-grilled plum. Delicious and good length for the price. Very easy drinking with a sense of plushness. Plum cake. Very Good Value.”

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