Lacryma Christi (tears of Christ) has a colorful name supposedly attributed the tears that Christ shed over the beauty of the bay of Naples has he ascended into heaven. Italy is full of such colorful stories and names and like most products with catchy names they often disappoint. The fresh and fruity Lacryma Christi Rosso and Bianco from Montesole will not disappoint anyone. These wines are selected from vineyards in the 15 villages entitled to this DOC. Both are produced from traditional local varietals from Campania with the white being 100% coda di volpe and the red 100% piedirosso (pictured above).
rosso: Montesole 2002 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso ($15) While I was enjoying this wine with some grilled pork chops I poured myself a second glass and tried to pinpoint what I liked so much about it. Then I realized what it was - at 12.5% alcohol this wine was perfect with food. Today the typical balance seems to be 13% plus and heavy wines are often difficult to match with food. This wine is a bright ruby with a garnet cast. The aromas are of warm Naples sunshine, a bit of earth and ripe raspberries. Bittersweet cherry flavors and zesty acids dominate the palate and finish. A charming wine, with excellent balance that shows its Mediterranean climate without any overripe flavors.
bianco: Montesole 2002 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco ($15) Bright light green gold. The aromas are clean fresh and lively with hints of pear, almonds, lemons bound together by a firm mineral note. It is firm and nutty on the palate with clean mineral and green apple fruit and a finish of fresh white peaches.