From the Wine Shop
Mastroberardino, Taurasi Riserva “Radici” Campania, Italy 2014 (750mL)
Taurasi, for those less familiar, is the namesake village of a relatively small cluster of hills in the Irpinia region of central Campania—about 50 kilometers east of Naples but, physically speaking, a world away. Irpinia is the start of the climb into the Campanian Apennines, with vineyard altitudes typically averaging around 400 meters in densely forested hillside sites (chestnut groves are another key feature of the region). The soils are a mix of calcareous (i.e. limestone) marl and volcanic deposits, and it’s the latter that the great Aglianico-based reds of the south really speak to: There’s a brooding, smoky, deeply mineral structure to Aglianico that can be downright ferocious, more forbidding in some cases than young Barolo wines from Piedmont.
This benchmark Aglianico has similarities to Barolo, as well as to Gran Reserva Riojas. This “current” release of Radici Riserva has had time to knit together somewhat, but it is still youthful, brawny, and poised for a long life ahead. In the glass, it has a characteristically dark, inky hue with hints of garnet and orange at the rim, with smoky, mineral aromas highly evocative of volcanic soils. Scents of ripe blackberries, currants, and mulberries mingle with intensely savory notes of espresso, grilled meat, leather, pencil lead, and tobacco. It is full-bodied and dense on the palate, with firm tannins and lots of freshness lending grip. Given an hour-plus in a decanter, it delivers a lot of heady pleasure, but this is a wine that will show its best with food—it’s not a flashy, sweet, “cocktail” style of red but rather a brooding, soil-driven wine that will continue to evolve in a positive direction over the next 10-15 years at a minimum.
- Sub-RegionTaurasi DOCG
- SoilClay, Limestone, Volcanic
- OakMixed (20% New)
- Temp.Serve at 60° F
- GlasswareBordeaux Stems
- Decanting60 Minutes
- PairingBBQ Brisket
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