Molise is Italy’s second smallest region, after Valle d’Aosta, by both area and population. It lies on the Adriatic coast situated between Abruzzo and Puglia. Its capital and largest city is Campobasso. Molise remains unfamiliar to most tourists and to the wine world. It has no DOCGs, four DOCs and two IGPs. In 2016, Molise produced 2.6 million cases of mostly table wine, two thirds of it red. The region’s primary grapes are Montepulciano and Trebbiano, with small plantings of Falanghina, Greco, Fiano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tintilia. Tintilia is an autochthonous, or native, grape grown almost exclusively in Molise. 97% of the world's plantings are found here. It is a rustic and hardy vine that yields very few small grapes per bunch, making it more difficult to grow commercially. Tintilia's uniqueness and potential for quality elevated it to international success when it won gold at the Paris Wine Exhibition in 1900 (Native Wine Grapes of Italy, Ian D'Agata.) Tintilia del Molise gained DOC in 2011, requiring any blend to be at least 95% varietal grown at elevation 200 meters or higher. Among Molise's serious modern producers of this grape is the Tenimenti Grieco, a family winery established in 2001. Their vineyard holdings are significant but few wines are available outside of the region. Cantinere imports offers just three labels stateside, with the "200 Metri" 100% Tintilia as the standout value. Hand harvested and carefully vinified in stainless steel, this fascinating red is aged in tank for four months before bottling unfined and unfiltered. With a traditionally deep and vibrant hue, the 2015 is medium bodied, and richly aromatic with dark tangy fruit of morello cherries, black plum and mixed herbs. It delivers unexpected mouthfeel for a wine that sees no oak, with a meatiness and acidity that could be compared to a less tannic Aglianico. Pouring a glass invites hours of conversation and a full belly. Pair with beef and lamb based stews, homemade pastas, well seasoned pork roast, cured meats and sharp cheeses.