Carbone Vini is a small winery in the upper part of the Vulture appellation. They planted their vineyards in the 70s, but were forced to stop making wines in the 80s due to a series of difficulties suffered by the elder generation, and simply sold the grapes.
A situation of this kind cannot continue indefinitely, and Sara and her brothers found themselves faced with the choice of selling everything or making the wines themselves when grape sales stopped being profitable. They chose the latter course, leaving jobs in different sectors to tend their vineyards and make wines.
The vineyards are planted on volcanic soils, and since they knew the quality of the grapes they had been selling, they knew they would be able to make the wines they had in mind. Their first vintage was 2005.
Carbone Vini Fiano basilicata IGT 2010
They had other varietals but replanted to Fiano in the late 80s; the vineyards also have a little Falanghina. Brassy white with brilliant brassy reflections. The bouquet is fairly bright, with vegetal notes and spice mingled with some herbal accents and a spicy underpinning. Not as rich as some Fiano, but this is a combination of vintage and likely terroir. On the palate it's consdìderably richer than one might have guessed given the nose, with lively lemony fruit supported by languid lemony acidity and slight greenish mineral accents, which flow into a clean lemony finish with mineral underpinning. The palate is graceful, and by now the nose will have caught up with it; I would expect it to age nicely for another 3-5 years. 2 stars
Carbone Vini Terra dei Fuochi Aglianico del Vulture DOC 2009
This is their base wine, which only sees steel, and the label also breaks with their others, because it's a day-to-day wine. Deep cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with berry fruit and some underbrush mingled with brambly acidity and some greenish spice. Nice in a zesty key. On the palate it's fresh, fairly rich, and direct, with cherry fruit supported by smooth tannins and warmth that flow into a clean fresh slightly greenish finish. Bright, up front, and quite on target; it will be a nice day-to-day wine whose only defect will be that it goes too quickly, requiring you to set out a second bottle. 2 stars
Carbone Vini 400 Some Aglianico del Vulture 2007
A soma is the load carried by a mule. Carlo d'Angiò's wife owned the Castle of Melfi, and he liked the wines, so he ordered 400 some for the royal cellars. Lively black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fresh, with sour berry fruit laced with greenish accents and underbrush, and some sassy peppery accents. Quite fresh, with lively acidity that confers zest, and quite inviting. On the palate it's bright, with zesty sour cherry fruit supported by peppery spice and moderately intense acidity, while the tannins are peppery and flow into a long peppery finish. It's still quite young, and will profit considerably from another year or more in bottle. It will be worth waiting for. 2 stars
Carbone Vini Stupor Mundi Aglianico del Vuture 2007 This is from their oldest vineyards, and is partially aged in new wood. Deep black almandine with black reflections. The bouquet is powerful, with vegetal notes and sour berry fruit supported by considerable underbrush, some sea salt, and some cedar with a warm spicy balsamic underpinning. On the palate it's full, bright, and very young, with sour berry fruit supported by zesty greenish acidity and by tannins that have a splintery greenish burr and flow into a fairly bright bitter tannic finish that's quite dry. It has considerable potential but isn't ready for polite society yet -- needs another 3-4 years to smooth, come together, and become a Different Person. Who will be worth waiting for. 2 stars, now.
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.