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From the Hidden Gem Molise, These Wines from The Local Tintilia Grape are Stunning Value
Some of Most Distinctive Reds I’ve Ever Had … Ever, Ever
– There Is Nothing Like These on the Face of the Earth

Every Region Has a Mad Genius Making World Class Wine: This Is It
– Like Discovering Peyre Rose or Chateau Simone

Cianfagna Sator Gran Maestro 2018
– A $200+ Nose – Like Volnay Crossed with Great Old Bordeaux
– You Can Sit on the Nose for 30 Minutes – 10/10 Amplitude
– Intense Wild Blackberry Fruit with Terrific Acidity
– Insanely Large Yet Insanely Refined
– In a Global Village, an Absolutely Undiscovered Gem
– World Class Wine – Excellent – 1968 Mastroberadino Taurasi Quality Level Which I Have Had
– A Must Buy for Italian Wine Geeks
–  Like An 86 Mouton Crossed with 68 Mastrberadino Taurasi Made From Tintillia
– At This Price, a “Buy It All” Wine

The Wine You Want to Bring to A Tasting
In France, everyone has heard of Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhone and Champagne. In Italy, we all know Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello. And at most tastings, most people bring these wines. But there are a decent number of top, top producers making wines outside these regions that are just as good as the wines from the more famous regions. When you go to a tasting, there is always someone who brings one of those finds, I’m calling them “Ringer Finds.” As list afficionados, we know some of them. Chateau Simone, Peyre Rose, Trevallon. ArPePe in Italy.  

Well, today I have an estate that is an absolute Ringer Find. It’s from Molise, a region that most people have never heard of (see below). The winemaker is doing everything the absolute right way and because the wines are made from the local Tintilia grape, there is nothing like them on earth.

I am utterly, absolutely thrilled to be selling these wines. They are among the great values in our portfolio and among our most distinctive wines.

The Wines
Today’s wine is an utterly distinctive masterpiece.  The 2018 Cianfagna Sator Gran Maestro Riserva for $56.99 each on a 4 pack. I cut my margins to get this under $56 as I want a lot of people to try it.  Every serious Italian wine geek needs to try this. This is by far the best version I have had and recent bottle blew new away in that it is a wine that is so rich, yet equally ephemeral. It’s actually easy to drink and even comes across as light yet it’s dense and packed with fruit. I can’t get over how this wine in 2018 tows that line so well. It is an extraordinary wine that will age for decades but it is fun and wide open to drink now. 

The nose is gorgeous blackberry fruit that literally swirls with lilacs. Like you are sitting in a field of lilacs with a strong breeze.  Licorice, spice, nuts, ridiculous red berry fruit, other dark fruits, nut powder and old chestnut cask. It’s extraordinary and like nothing I’ve ever smelled. The fruit is very, very vivid like in 4K HD. Intense black pepper, tobacco, cardamom … it goes on and on. But it’s the intensity that is just crazy.  Really just a magnitude that can wake the dead. A totally different, amazing sensory experience.  You have got to smell this wine and your life will be altered forever.  Really one of the most intensely aromatic wines I’ve ever had at any price.

The palate is amazing. The fruit is incredibly intense wild, just picked blackberry, a touch of fresh wild blueberry and great balancing acidity. Gorgeous spice and a kiss of licorice round it out. It’s super juicy, super refined, large scaled with gorgeously refined late breaking tannins. A super unctuous texture with out of hand opulence. It’s almost creamy. 

It has one of the most stunning finishes ever. Like a garden hose pumps the fruit into your mouth where it lingers for at least 30 seconds.  Amazing balance in this wine. It’s so so pure. Mark of a top wine. Just crazy levels of juiciness, power and concentration but also weightless. Really remarkable, juicy and so long. The licorice and spice are incredible. Really long and aromatic finish that builds in intensity. Make no mistake, this is world class wine. 

This has 15+ years ahead of it but is drinking so well now. I’d open for 30 minutes before drinking. It is aged in old oak barrels. This wine is truly a labor of love and I had to convince the winemaker that I was worthy to sell it. The bottles are hand numbered and wax sealed with an attached certificate of authenticity. 200 cases made.

The Winery
The winery is run by Vincenzo, who makes the wines, and his wife Filomina.  The story is the same as many of our top producers. They are very small (1,600 cases per year). There is a longstanding Croatian community in their village whose members don’t speak Italian. The label has a picture of a Templar stone left in the village by the Crusaders on their way to fight the Saracens.

Vincenzo works his butt off in the vineyards.  He frets over every vine and manages the vines to ensure freshness and ripeness.  He’s a truly great winemaker who deserves to be recognized as one of the great winemakers in Italy.  

Molise is a largely unpopulated region between Abruzzo and Puglia.  In the 671 page Michelin Green Guide that I own, less than one page is dedicated to Molise (¾ of page 199). There are no starred restaurants. The guide notes that “Molise is a land of passage for movement of cattle, armies and travelers.”  The original flyover country. Needless to say, as I looked to build out the Fass Selections Italian portfolio to include some unheard of gems, this was a region whose wines I wanted to sell.  I had sold back in my beginner retail days the only wine in Molise anyone ever heard of, Di Majo Norante and their $6.99 Sangiovese. Was like the counterpart to Falesco Vitiano. Both under $10 and both high scoring and both full of fruit and zero character. I didn’t write Molise off but did not take it seriously. Now we are in a wine world where there are dedicated passionate artisans making world class wine in places no one would think of 10-20 years ago. The quality commensurate to price of today’s wines is unreal. These would be $60 and $100 wines in Barolo or Montalcino. The “Grand Cru” wine reminds me of the legendary 1968 Mastroberadino Taurasi if it was made from Tintilia. 

I knew that there would be one producer who would be making wines the right way. By killing himself in the vineyard. And I knew that they would be great values. I tasted a lot of mediocre crap to find this winemaker. A lot. The below quote by Ian d’Agata of Vinous captures the sentiment perfectly.

“Abruzzo and Molise perfectly demonstrate all that is at once infuriating and sublime about Italian wines. On one hand, these regions offer hand-crafted, distinctive wines at often unbeatable prices, mostly from small family-run estates; on the other, they also produce far too many insipid bottles that risk nullifying-in the public’s mind, at least-the unquestionable progress that has been made in these two areas over the last ten years.”
Ian d’Agata, Vinous

Here is the cut and the chase of it. 98% of the Molise wines suck pretty much except this estate but these two wines below are two the most unique wines I’ve ever had and they are very hard to describe but I’ve done my best. Bottom line, these wines are why you are on the list.  Obscure region, unheard of producer, unknown grape, spectacular wines at crazy low prices.

Tintilia, the main grape in Molise, is a grape that I am very exited about. I really never heard of it before I tasted the Cianfagna wines. Now it is on my radar as it is spectacular. Originally thought to be Bovale Sardo (Bobal in Spain) but later found out to be indigenous to Molise and it’s own thing is one incredibly distinctive grape. It’s got spice. Oh boy does it have spice but it’s relatively a recent phenomena as Tintilia was barely a blip until the early 90s when it was revived by a small group of quality conscious growers. It’s not a very vigorous grape and many vineyards were abandoned as a result. This is by far the most interesting varietal in Molise. Like Aglianico is for Campania and Nebbiolo is for Piedmont, Tintilia is the grape in Molise. The fruit is always red/black and a lot of it. Raspberries, blueberries and plums abound. But all enveloped by that invigorating spice. Pepper, tobacco and so many other iterations of spice. Big fruit always on the palate and terrific length and structure. These are built to age but can be enjoyed relatively young because of all the fruit. 

Please visit my new Tasting Notes Blog on all wines that I have sold through Fass Selections. It is constantly updated.

Please call Cheryl at 949 378 5251 after emailing with your firstorder if you are a first time customer (we prefer not to receive credit card numbers over E-Mail).

I love drinking and selecting wines – but my passion for teaching people about wine is almost as big. I’m happy to announce a block of time each day where people can call me just to chat about wine in general. These blocks are NOT intended to sell wine (I do that all day). This is to talk to me about wine pairings or great producers or how long to age wines or styles of wine making or the latest wine controversy. My goal is to help people learn more about wine and enjoy it more. Call me at 917-912-4355 from 4-7EST Monday – Friday.

2018 Cianfagna Sator Gran Maestro – $58.99 ($227.96 4-pack) (VERY LIMITED)

This Offer is Not Available to Retailers, Wholesalers or Restaurants

Shipping will be charged when wine ships.

These will be shipped in the Spring of 2025


Previous Offers Still Open

A Word about Fass Selections and Social Media

I am big into certain social media and I want people to take pictures of the wines they have received or will receive and tag me in them and share their thoughts. I a am on Instagram. Please tag me there. I also am on Delectable which I love a lot. It is Iphone/Ipad only, but it’s like Instagram meets Facebook for wine. Tag me there and find me there as well. I want to know if you liked the wine, were not moved by the wine, hated the wine or the wine gave you a religious experience. I want to know it all. Feedback is key and I will answer all feedback e-mails as quickly as I can.

For all billing and invoicing inquiries please contact Nick at accounts@fassselections.com or 646-498-6078