Noble Wines S Italy

Document Sample
Noble Wines S Italy Powered By Docstoc

                               NOBLE WINES OF SOUTHERN ITALY

ARGIOLAS                  2004     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     93
ARGIOLAS                  2002     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     93
ARGIOLAS                  2001     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     94
ARGIOLAS                  2000     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     92
ARGIOLAS                  1999     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     92
ARGIOLAS                  1998     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     92
ARGIOLAS                  1997     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     90
ARGIOLAS                  1995     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     93
ARGIOLAS                  1994     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     90
ARGIOLAS                  1993     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     92
ARGIOLAS                  1992     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     91
ARGIOLAS                  1991     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     92
ARGIOLAS                  1990     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     93
ARGIOLAS                  1989     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     88
ARGIOLAS                  1988     TURRIGA                                        SARDINA                                RED                     91

     The 2004 Turriga is fresh, tight and incredibly muscular at this          The 1994 Turriga has held up quite well, but some rough edges are
stage. Dark cherries, sweet herbs and juniper berries are some of          beginning to show. The tannins and the French oak are accentuated in
the flavors that emerge over time, but quite reluctantly at first. This    the glass, while early oxidative notes make an appearance, all tell-tale
remains a highly promising Turriga in need of significant cellaring.       signs the fruit is fading and that the wine needs to be drunk relatively
    The 2002 Turriga is only now starting to soften. Roasted coffee        soon.
beans and sweet spices suggest that early tertiary notes may be                The 1993 Turriga is amazing, especially as it appears to still be years
right around the corner. Today, the wine impresses for its                 away from its peak! This is a powerful, massively rich Turriga with
impeccable balance and expressive, generous dark fruit.                    super-ripe fruit that recalls Amarone in its opulence. The 1993 seems to
     The 2001 Turriga is endowed with gorgeous aromatics. Minerals         still be searching for its inner sense of balance, but at this point I am not
and herbs gradually emerge from the glass adding complexity to             sure that will ever truly happen. The best way to experience the 1993 is
the perfumed, silky fruit. The 2001 reveals terrific balance, length       to open a bottle well in advance and enjoy its evolution over several
and clarity, all in a style that is at once powerful yet medium in         hours. The 1993 is one of the most surprising vintages in this tasting.
body. Simply put, this is a fabulous Turriga.                                   The 1992 Turriga is soft and fully developed. Herbs, coffee beans,
     The 2000 Turriga impresses for its impeccable overall balance         spices and licorice add complexity and nuance to the generous core of
and sheer sense of harmony. This isn’t the biggest or richest              fruit. This is a relatively approachable and slightly smaller-scaled
Turriga, rather it is a vintage that offers superb drinkability today in   Turriga, but the overall balance is once again beyond reproach.
an open, accessible style I find irresistible. Tar, smoke and licorice         The 1991 is another soft, open Turriga. Here the fruit tends towards
linger on the beautiful finish.                                            the darker end of the spectrum, with pretty suggestions of spices,
     The 1999 is a fairly weighty, powerful Turriga. Some of the           cedar, tobacco, menthol and herbs. The 1991 reveals gorgeous inner
delineation of the 2000 is missing, but the wine makes up for that         perfume and an impeccably refined personality.
with its utterly complete, engaging personality. Sweet grilled herbs            The 1990 Turriga is remarkable for the way it combines ripeness with
add a final layer of nuance on the close.                                  what is an essentially ethereal personality. Clarity, precision and
     The 1998 Turriga is a soft, floral red laced with menthol, herbs      balance; it’s all there as the wine continues to open up in the glass.
and dark fruit. The wine reveals gorgeous inner perfume, a finessed        Tobacco, herbs, licorice and dark fruit follow through to the long,
finish and the superb balance that is the signature of Turriga.            harmonious finish. This is a gorgeous Turriga.
     The 1997 is the first of these Turrigas where the upside potential        The 1989 Turriga is still intact, although slight elements of oxidation
seems exhausted at this point. This is a ripe, opulent vintage             and dilution in the fruit suggest the wine is at or past its peak. Any
blessed with tons of harmony in its soft, generous fruit. A long,          remaining bottles need to be drunk up.
resonating finish rounds out the wine nicely.                                    The 1988 is delicate, perfumed and finely knit. Though already far
     The 1995 Turriga is fascinating, as it is all about elegance and      along in its tertiary stage, there is enough fruit to provide for another
understatement. Despite its smaller scale relative to other vintages,      few years of fine drinking. The 1988 is impressive, but it, too, needs to
the 1995 remains fresh, vibrant and utterly impeccable. The ethereal,      be drunk sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, this is a great showing
sensual finish shows elements of finesse that recall Nebbiolo.             for the debut vintage of Turriga.

Page 1 of 7                                                                                                 Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
GALARDI                  2008     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     97+
GALARDI                  2007     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
GALARDI                  2006     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
GALARDI                  2004     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
GALARDI                  2003     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
GALARDI                  2001     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
GALARDI                  2000     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
GALARDI                  1999     TERRA DI LAVORO                              CAMPANIA                               RED                     96

     Galardi’s 2008 Terra di Lavoro is a legend in the making. It is    blossom over the course of several hours. The 2004 still needs bottle
a fabulously ripe, rich and seductive wine endowed with beautifully     age, as it is incredibly primary. Its elegance, however, is impossible to
articulated dark plums, ash, leather, licorice, all of which meld       miss. This bottle is simply out of this world. It now seems pretty obvious I
together in an explosive, utterly thrilling display of class and        underestimated the wine when I first tasted it a few years ago. One day
elegance. Clean, mineral notes frame the eternal finish. Today the      the 2004 will be viewed in the same league with Mastroberardino’s
2008 is impossibly young and the wine will require considerable         famous 1968 Taurasis as among the most monumental wines ever made
patience, but its class, pedigree and potential are all first-rate.     in southern Italy.
Simply put, the 2008 is a monumental Terra di Lavoro.                       Galardi did a fabulous job with the 2003 Terra di Lavoro in this torrid,
     The 2007 Terra di Lavoro emerges from the glass with an            challenging vintage. This is a dark, muscular Terra di Lavoro loaded with
array of floral red fruit, spices, berries and minerals. It is an       imposing dark fruit wrapped around a frame of sheer muscle. The 2003
especially forward, opulent Terra di Lavoro bursting with               turns more elegant in the glass as the aromatics reluctantly begin to
exuberance. There is something viscerally thrilling about the           emerge.
2007, perhaps because Terra di Lavoro is typically so reticent              The 2001 Terra di Lavoro is a blockbuster. Still incredibly fresh and
when it is young. Not here. This is an open, wonderfully                vibrant, the 2001 impresses for its superb overall balance and poise.
expressive vintage. The only thing left to wonder is if the wine will   There is exceptional clarity and nuance in the glass, not to mention
ever shut down in bottle. Readers who prefer a firmer style will        finessed tannins that frame the intensity of the fruit all the way through to
likely gravitate towards the 2006 or 2008, but this is a flat-out       the glorious finish, where hints of chocolate, espresso and minerals add
great bottle of wine with an explosive personality that carries         the final layers of complexity.
through to the long, intensely satisfying finish.                           The 2000 Terra di Lavoro is one of the most open, showy wines in
     I am thrilled with the 2006 Terra di Lavoro, which easily lives    this tasting. This is a sexy, voluptuous Terra di Lavoro bursting with dark
up to the praise I bestowed upon it last year. This wasn’t an easy      red fruit, flowers and minerals. The 2000 is quite pleasurable today for its
vintage for Galardi. The weather was uneven, and a drastic              sheer opulence, but readers will have to wait another five years or so for
selection was necessary in the cellar. Overall production was even      the aromas and flavors to move into a more tertiary stage. As delicious as
lower in 2006 than in 2005, but the estate’s commitment to quality      the 2000 is, it remains a relatively simple Terra di Lavoro when tasted
paid off in a big way. The 2006 Terra di Lavoro presents an             alongside the most profound vintages.
intriguing combination of compelling inner sweetness wrapped                 The 1999 Terra di Lavoro is marvelous. Dark wild cherries, ash,
around a firm, imposing frame. This is a very Barolo-like Terra di      bacon fat and earthiness are just some of the nuances that emerge from
Lavoro that gradually opens up to reveal is pedigree, with endless      this virile red. The 1999 is a joyous Terra di Lavoro endowed with
layers of fruit and an eternal finish.                                  remarkable depth and sheer power, all of which are framed by firm yet
      The 2004 Terra di Lavoro is off the charts. Everything is in      beautifully integrated tannins. Amazingly, the 1999 still needs a few years
perfect balance. Silky, refined tannins frame an explosive core         in bottle to express itself fully, but it is already pretty incredible. The
of dark red fruit, smoke, minerals, ash, bacon fat, leather and         vintage was hot, but with a healthy alternation between daytime and
minerals. The 2004 continues to develop exquisitely in the              evening temperatures, nearly ideal conditions for making an important
glass, with layers of aromatics, fruit and structure that continue to   wine. The estate seems to have captured every bit of that potential.

Page 2 of 7                                                                                              Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
MASTROBERARDINO            2006    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      93
MASTROBERARDINO            2005    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      93
MASTROBERARDINO            1996    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      94
MASTROBERARDINO            1994    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      93
MASTROBERARDINO            1993    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      92
MASTROBERARDINO            1992    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      92
MASTROBERARDINO            1991    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      90
MASTROBERARDINO            1990    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      92
MASTROBERARDINO            1988    TAURASI RADICI (MAGNUM)                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      95
MASTROBERARDINO            1987    TAURASI RADICI                                CAMPANIA                                 RED                      94
MASTROBERARDINO            1985    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      90
MASTROBERARDINO            1983    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      90
MASTROBERARDINO            1973    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      92
MASTROBERARDINO            1958    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      97
MASTROBERARDINO            1934    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      92
MASTROBERARDINO            1928    TAURASI                                       CAMPANIA                                 RED                      95

     The 2006 Taurasi Radici offers up red berries, flowers and           power and depth. There is a level of clarity and delineation that elevates
spices in a pretty, open expression of Taurasi. There is a lovely         the 1988 to its exalted position as one of the finest wines to emerge
roundness that develops in the glass, leading to a long, caressing        from these cellars. Simply put, this is a breathtaking Taurasi from
finish. Despite the challenging vintage, this is a very classy, pure      Mastroberardino.
and vibrant Taurasi that should develop nicely along the lines of the          The 1987 Taurasi Radici is another impressive wine from the decade
estate’s other mid-weight vintages.                                       of the 1980s. It, too, remains remarkably fresh with layers of red berries,
     The 2005 Taurasi Radici has developed beautifully since I last       leather, licorice, flowers and spices that meld together beautifully in a
tasted it a few months ago. There is more fruit, power and sheer          harmonious expression of Aglianico. The finish is long and impeccable.
structure than I had previously found. The fruit remains youthful              The 1985 Taurasi, along with the 1983, is one of the more forward
and primary, while the tannins and overall balance suggest the            wines in this tasting. Stylistically, it also seems to favor the more rustic side
2005 will be a long-lived vintage. Hints of red berries, dried flowers    of Aglianico, as tertiary notes run through the dark fruit, plum, leather,
and spices linger on the sublime finish.                                  tobacco, incense and soy. The 1985 is an excellent choice for near-term
      I am floored by the 1996 Taurasi Radici. It is simply               drinking, as further upside potential seems exhausted at this point.
breathtaking. Fine, silky tannins buttress dried roses, spices and             The estate’s 1983 Taurasi is soft and fully evolved. Truffles, leather,
red berries, all of which meld together in a wine of understated          licorice, earthiness and dark fruit are some of the scents that emerge from
elegance. Taurasi is often referred to as the ‘Barolo of the South’       this fully mature, tertiary Taurasi. The 1983 retains surprising richness, but
and this is a wine that captures the essence of that comparison to        ultimately the wilder side of Aglianico dominates the balance.
the fullest. Gorgeous inner perfume develops in the glass over                 The 1973 Taurasi is a touch more advanced than the 1977 Riserva,
time, inviting a second and then a third taste. This is a thrilling yet   but also offers a measure of additional textural depth. Mint, spices, dried
delicate wine of the highest level.                                       fruits and all sorts of balsamic nuances meld together in this fairly round,
     There is quite a bit of depth and darkness to the 1994 Taurasi       soft Taurasi. The 1973 is in a beautiful place today. Seemingly timeless,
Radici. Tar, leather, tobacco, black pepper and plums flow from           it combines elements of maturity while retaining significant freshness and
this earthy, baritone Taurasi. The round, harmonious finish               fabulous overall balance. Hints of cocoa, leather and licorice linger on the
balances things out nicely on the close.                                  finish. The 1973 isn’t one of the most complex wines in this line-up, but it
    Readers seeking a mostly mature Taurasi will delight in the 1993      is one of the most pleasurable.
Taurasi Radici. This is a wonderfully nuanced Taurasi laced with               The 1958 Taurasi is a blockbuster. Utterly mind-blowing in its depth
notes of anise, herbs, chocolate, leather and licorice that add           and purity, the 1958 stakes its claim as one of the greatest wines ever
complexity to the fruit. Soft and supple throughout, the 1993 should      made in Italy. Dark fruit, licorice, leather and menthol dance on the
offer fine drinking now and over the next 15 or so years, give or take.   palate, leading to an intense, powerful wine. At this stage it appears quite
     The 1992 Taurasi Radici is impressive mostly because it              likely that the 1958 will reach its 100th birthday. Today it is nothing short
remains so intact, despite conditions that were far less than ideal       of breathtaking. Hints of dark fruits, menthol, leather and licorice add
that year. This small-scaled, soft Taurasi reveals a gorgeous sense       complexity to the finish.
of proportion in an accessible style. The wine continues to grow in             The 1934 Taurasi is a deeply pitched, intense wine that boasts
the glass as it acquires better and better balance over time. To say      incredible richness considering its 76 years of age. Dried prunes, leather,
the 1992 is a revelation is a huge understatement.                        tobacco, licorice and spices are woven together in this fully resolved
    The 1991 Taurasi Radici comes across as a touch rustic, with          Taurasi. Even though the 1934 is full of tertiary aromas and flavors it also
less fruit than the 1992 and a lithe, somewhat stern personality.         retains just enough freshness to keep things interesting. Sweet scents of
Scents of earthiness, game and licorice convey an impression              pipe tobacco linger on the harmonious finish. This is an unbelievable bottle.
of classicism.                                                                It’s difficult to find words to describe the 1928 Taurasi. Where should
     The 1990 Taurasi Radici is a soft, mid-weight offering graced        I start? The color, a translucent red, is wonderfully intact. But that is just
with wild cherries, plums, tobacco and leather, all of which              the beginning. The wine flows onto the palate with an extraordinary
come together on a refined, supple frame. This shows lovely               range of dried roses, berries, licorice and leather, all of which come
overall balance.                                                          together in stunning style. There is incredible brightness and purity
     The 1988 Taurasi Radici, tasted from magnum, is simply               throughout, while the finish shows remarkable grip. The 1928 Taurasi
fantastic. It is everything one could hope for in a Taurasi and so        will live to see its 100th birthday, making it a nearly immortal wine of
much more, to tell the truth. Still remarkably vibrant, the 1988 offers   monumental standing. Readers lucky enough to have tasted this gem
up roses, mint and dark red cherries, showing incredible vibrancy,        know exactly what I mean.

Page 3 of 7                                                                                                 Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
MASTROBERARDINO            2004    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     95
MASTROBERARDINO            2003    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
MASTROBERARDINO            2001    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     95
MASTROBERARDINO            2000    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
MASTROBERARDINO            1999    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     92
MASTROBERARDINO            1998    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     91
MASTROBERARDINO            1997    TAURASI RADICI RISERVA                        CAMPANIA                               RED                     93
MASTROBERARDINO            1982    TAURASI RISERVA                               CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
MASTROBERARDINO            1980    TAURASI RISERVA                               CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
MASTROBERARDINO            1977    TAURASI RISERVA                               CAMPANIA                               RED                     92
MASTROBERARDINO            1968    TAURASI RISERVA                               CAMPANIA                               RED                     97
MASTROBERARDINO            1961    TAURASI RISERVA                               CAMPANIA                               RED                     94

     The 2004 Taurasi Radici Riserva bursts from the glass in an               Tobacco, smoke and ash are some of the notes that appear to round
explosive display of sheer class that is utterly captivating.             out the rich fruit in the 1997 Taurasi Radici Riserva. The vintage
Everything here is simply glorious, from the vivid, textured fruit,       produced a fat, full-bodied Taurasi loaded with fruit. The tannins retain
expressive bouquet and expansive, yet beautifully ripe tannins.           elements of roughness, which is just about the only thing that keeps the
This is a broad-shouldered Taurasi blessed with tons of fruit and         score from going higher here. This is an impressive showing from a wine
rich inner perfume that covers every inch of the palate. A heady          that could merit a higher score down the road.
melange of minerals, smoke, tobacco and ash inform the                         The 1982 Taurasi Riserva is another of the utterly magical wines in
exceptional finish. The 2004 Riserva will be released in the fall of      this lineup. A totally transcendental, hypnotizing wine, the 1982
2010. Needless to say, it is highly recommended.                          possesses incredible vibrancy, power and length, with endless layers of
     The 2003 Taurasi Radici Riserva is a fascinating wine. Initially     mint, dried roses, red fruits and licorice that come together on an
rather firm, the 2003 softens up beautifully with some time in the        impeccably refined frame. The wine’s inner perfume and mineral-driven
glass. To be sure, the incisive 2003 tannins never completely melt        personality vie for my attention all the way through to the sublime finish.
away, but there is more than enough fruit to provide balance. This        This immortal, towering masterpiece is one of the greatest wines made in
is a fairly dark, brooding Radici Riserva endowed with tons of depth      Italy over the last 50 years.
and an imposing personality. Still vibrant and youthful, the 2003              The 1980 Taurasi Riserva bears the challenge of following the
should find its balance and elegance with further bottle age.             profound 1982, but it proves more than capable of the task. The 1980 is
      The 2001 Taurasi Radici Riserva has begun to show the               built on a core of rich, dense fruit that impresses for its depth and staying
faintest signs of aromatic complexity in its cocoa, baking spices,        power. The firm Aglianico tannins are present, but they are totally buried
leather and black pepper. The 2001 is a deep, powerful Radici             by the sheer lushness of the fruit. This is one of the most famous wines in
Riserva that completely saturates the palate with ripe, dense fruit.      the estate’s history as a devastating earthquake struck the region in
The tannins aren’t shy either, but they are beautifully balanced in       November of that year, while macerations were still under way, damaging
this large-scaled Riserva. The intensity of the fruit carries through     many cellars, including those of Mastroberardino. Now, thirty years later,
to the long, satisfying finish. The warm, dry summer has given the        I think it is pretty safe to say the wine has turned out better than anyone
2001 wonderful richness without abandoning what is a very classic         might have reasonably expected.
style of Taurasi similar to the 2004.                                          The 1977 Taurasi Riserva has aged spectacularly well. Bright red
     The estate’s 2000 Taurasi Radici Riserva is another wine that        fruits, flowers and licorice flow effortlessly from this mid-weight Riserva.
melds together elements of ripeness and classicism, although              The earliest signs of tertiary development begin to show with some time
here, unlike the 2001, the balance tilts towards opulence. The 2000       in the glass. The 1977 comes across as a smaller-scaled version of the
Riserva is a big, rich Taurasi endowed with generous fruit, round         1968, with a round, harmonious finish that leaves a lasting impression.
tannins and phenomenal length. Stylistically, the 2000 is more            Once again I am floored by the integrity and purity of the estate’s finest
elegant than the 2003. Red berries, minerals, flowers and licorice        vintages.
come together beautifully in the glass as the 2000 reveals its                The 1968 Taurasi Riserva is simply magnificent. Marvelously dense
expressive personality. This should be a fairly accessible Taurasi        and ethereal, this classy, breathtaking Taurasi offers up a melange of
in another few years. Today it is strikingly beautiful. The 2000 is the   plums, prunes, licorice, herbs, spices and minerals, showing incredible
first vintage in which Mastroberardino lengthened maceration              detail and tons of inner perfume. Amazingly, the 1968 comes across is
times back to 20 days or so, which clearly shows in its superior          incredibly youthful and vigorous. Today, it looks to be developing along
structure and pure pedigree.                                              the lines of the 1958, another fabulous vintage here. The finish retains
     The 1999 Taurasi Radici Riserva comes across as surprisingly         very attractive elements of classicism and sheer tannic clout. The 1968
simple. In 1999 the maceration time was only 15 days and the wine         Riserva can be enjoyed today, but ideally it is best opened several hours
seems to lack the depth and concentration of the best years. Ash,         prior to being served. In 1968 the Riserva was made from a blend of
game, spices and dark fruit come together nicely in this accessible,      vineyards in Montemarano, Pian d’Angelo and Castelfranci, three of the
understated Taurasi Radici Riserva.                                       most renowned spots for Aglianico.
     Like the 1999, the estate’s 1998 Taurasi Radici Riserva is a              The 1961 Taurasi Riserva is another of the wines in this lineup with
straightforward offering. The French oak seems to come through a          incredible density for its age. This is a rounder style of Taurasi with more
touch more than in other surrounding vintages, suggesting 1998            fruit and less bouquet than the 1968. The powerful, virile style of
yielded fruit with less structure and depth to play off the oak.          Aglianico is on full display as suggestions of dark fruit, leather, licorice,
Despite the wine’s freshness, early signs of oxidation have begun         tobacco and a host of balsamic nuances take shape in the glass. There
to creep in. The supple, forward 1998 is an excellent choice for          is a touch of volatile acidity that might disturb some palates, but in the
near-term drinking.                                                       end, the 1961’s virtues far outweigh its flaws.

Page 4 of 7                                                                                                Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
MONTEVETRANO            2008     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    94
MONTEVETRANO            2007     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    95
MONTEVETRANO            2006     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    94
MONTEVETRANO            2005     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    93
MONTEVETRANO            2004     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    95
MONTEVETRANO            2003     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    94
MONTEVETRANO            2002     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    92
MONTEVETRANO            2001     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    95
MONTEVETRANO            2000     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    93
MONTEVETRANO            1999     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    95
MONTEVETRANO            1998     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    92
MONTEVETRANO            1997     MONTEVETRANO                                 CAMPANIA                              RED                    95

     The 2008 Montevetrano is almost impossibly young at this          leading to a late September harvest, which is unusual here. There is a
stage. Loaded with the essence of black cherry liqueur, minerals       wild, unrestrained quality to the 2002 I find very appealing. Grilled
and spices, the wine conquers the palate with layers of richly         herbs, blackberries, leather and spices flow from the glass. This is
structured fruit. The 2008 is full of raw, vinous energy, yet it is    likely to always remain a rather firm wine, but it also has the freshness
possible to get a sense of the brilliant future that lies ahead from   to age beautifully in the coming years.
the way the wine continues to develop beautifully in the glass.              The 2001 is an extreme Montevetrano bursting with masses of
    The 2007 Montevetrano is the product of an unusual vintage         super-ripe fruit that walks the tight rope of ripeness stopping just short
characterized by hot temperatures that were virtually                  of going overboard. This is by far the most opulent, full-throttle vintage
uninterrupted throughout the year. Bright red fruit, flowers and       of Montevetrano ever made. Chocolate, spices and new leather lead to
spices are some of the nuances that emerge from this silky,            jammy dark fruit.
beautifully balanced Montevetrano. The combination of explosive              Dark berries, plums, espresso and spices come to life in the 2000
ripe fruit, richness and finesse is utterly breathtaking.              Montevetrano. Stylistically the 2000 emphasizes a soft, seamless
     I have always admired the 2006 Montevetrano for its powerful,     expression of fruit over well-articulated aromatics. Though not the most
intense personality. Today the 2006 is austere and unyielding but it   complex Montevetrano, the 2000 impresses for its remarkable
seems pretty clear this gorgeous wine simply needs time in bottle,     harmony, integration and sheer opulence, all of which make it a terrific
as hints of beautiful inner perfume occasionally make an               vintage for drinking now and over the next decade.
appearance in the glass. Imparato calls 2006 a very challenging             The 1999 Montevetrano is a rock-star wine. Still remarkably fresh
vintage.                                                               and vibrant, the 1999 bursts from the glass with layers of dark berries,
     Readers looking for a recent Montevetrano that is ready or        grilled herbs, leather and tar. There is a level of richness, depth and
close to ready to drink should consider the 2005. Early tertiary       sheer power to the fruit here that is simply mind-bending, while the
notes of tobacco and smoke have begun to develop. The fruit            wine’s overall sense of balance is breathtaking. Another decade-plus of
is round, soft and harmonious all the way through to the               fine drinking seems like a sure bet for the 1999 Montevetrano. Imparato
long, polished finish. This is a relatively simple, accessible         describes 1999 as a hot vintage in which the harvest began in late
Montevetrano in this context, but it should drink well reasonably      August. Curiously, the wine shows no evidence at all of heat, but
early. The balance and overall sense of harmony remain that of a       instead comes across as exceptionally well balanced.
first class red.                                                             The 1998 is another excellent vintage for drinking today. Although
     Some vintages of Montevetrano are hard to appreciate when         this isn’t the most complex Montevetrano I am struck by how primary
they are young. The 2004 is not one of them. Rich and explosive        the wine is. The 1998 is open in its dark fruit with a soft, accessible
from the outset, the 2004 has all of the elements to be one of the     personality that is similar to the 2000. Sweet, silky tannins round out the
truly profound Montevetranos. Firm yet silky tannins frame deep        long finish. Readers who prefer layers of tertiary complexity will want to
layers of exuberant, perfumed fruit that caress the palate with        cellar the 1998 for a few more years, but from a textural standpoint, it is
stunning grace. This is simply flat-out great.                         a highly rewarding wine today.
      The 2003 Montevetrano is one of the revelations in this                 The estate’s 1997 Montevetrano is a beguiling wine. Amazingly,
tasting. Layers of dark, baritone fruit form the building blocks,      the tannins remain a touch hard! There is wonderful integrity to the dark
followed by suggestions of leather, spices and earthiness that         fruit. This is a decidedly virile and powerful Montevetrano, even if floral
add richness and complexity. Incisive and muscular throughout,         and spice notes add a sense of lift to the finish. All things considered,
the 2003 impresses for its overall sense of balance, something         the 1997 is a flat-out great Montevetrano, and another few years in
that was very hard to come by in this torrid vintage.                  bottle can only help harmonize some of the very slight rough edges that
      The 2002 Montevetrano is another of the surprises in this        still remain.
tasting. The vintage was cold and damp, as it was throughout Italy,

Page 5 of 7                                                                                            Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
...continued MONTEVETRANO
MONTEVETRANO             1996     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     90
MONTEVETRANO             1995     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     94
MONTEVETRANO             1994     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     92
MONTEVETRANO             1993     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     93
MONTEVETRANO             1992     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     91
MONTEVETRANO             1991     MONTEVETRANO                                  CAMPANIA                               RED                     92

     The 1996 Montevetrano is the product of a cold, rainy year and      smoke add complexity to the powerful, layered fruit. There is amazing
late harvest. Today it comes across as rather lean, without the          depth in the glass, even if some slightly rough edges remain. The fruit
explosiveness or density of the finest vintages. Dark fruit, mocha,      shows enough intensity and freshness to support another decade or so
espresso, earthiness and tobacco develop in the glass, but this          of cellaring.
remains a somewhat rough-around-the-edges, lean and slightly                  The 1992 Montevetrano comes across as incredibly young in its
herbal Montevetrano.                                                     plump dark fruit. Hints of chocolate and spices develop in the glass,
     The 1995 is my favorite of the estate’s earlier vintages. This is   adding further shades of complexity. The 1992 is juicy Montevetrano that
simply beautiful juice. Silky, utterly refined tannins frame hints of    seems just a few years old!
red berries, flowers, tobacco and spices in what is a very                   The 1991 Montevetrano is a bit of an anomaly in this vertical as it is
Burgundian Montevetrano. There is a weightless elegance and a            the only vintage that does not contain any Merlot. The vines had only
sense of textural finesse that is simply breathtaking. Readers still     recently been planted and Imparato and Cotarella simply felt the plants
holding the 1995 are in for a magical drinking experience.               were too young. Not surprisingly, the 1991 is a touch rustic, particularly in
     The 1994 Montevetrano is one of the smaller-scaled wines in         this context. This is a decidedly powerful Montevetrano with elements of
this line-up, most of which can be attributed to the excessive rain      firmness and austerity from the greater percentage of Aglianico that
that year. Dried cherries, flowers, herbs and tobacco come               come through from time to time. Still it is impossible to ignore how well the
together very nicely.                                                    1991 has aged. There isn’t a sign of oxidation anywhere in sight. Mint,
     The 1993 Montevetrano is impressive. Aglianico seems to             licorice and anise linger on the finish. This is without question an
come through prominently in this vintage. Hints of bacon fat and         impressive showing for the debut vintage of Montevetrano.

Page 6 of 7                                                                                               Current Vintages highlighted in yellow
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2006     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     93
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2005     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     92
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2004     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     94
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2003     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     91
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2002     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     91
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2001     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     92
TASCA D’ALMERITA          2000     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     93
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1998     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     89
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1994     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     90
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1991     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     89
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1989     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     91
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1983     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     90
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1981     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     87
TASCA D’ALMERITA          1979     ROSSO DEL CONTE                                SICILY                                  RED                     92

     Tasca d’Almerita’s 2006 Rosso del Conte is a beautiful wine               The 2000 is a very complete, harmonious Rosso del Conte. Loads of
graced with gorgeous inner perfume and layered red fruit. Silky            perfumed, opulent fruit emerge from this medium to full-bodied wine, all
tannins frame a long, elegant finish. The 2006 is an understated,          supported by elegant, silky tannins. The 2000 is accessible and open for
delicate Rosso del Conte that should continue to develop                   business but readers who prefer more tertiary complexity will want to let
beautifully in bottle. It is also somewhat of an experimental vintage,     the wine spend another few years in the cellar. This is a terrific effort from
as the percentages of Nero d’Avola and Perricone are 55% and               Tasca d’Almerita.
15% respectively, while international varieties account for 30% of             Tasca d’Almerita’s 1998 Rosso del Conte is a soft, mid-weight effort
the final blend. Despite the relatively high presence of international     with good aromatic and flavor development in its dark fruit, spices,
grapes, the 2006 maintains a clear link with the wines of the past.        licorice and leather. A blast of tar informs the long finish. The 1998 is an
     The 2005 Rosso del Conte has put on significant weight since          excellent choice for drinking over the near-term.
I first reviewed it in The Wine Advocate last year. The 2005 has                The 1994 Rosso del Conte is endowed with super-ripe fruit and a
grown into a big, generous red packed with perfumed fruit.                 soft, accessible personality that is the result of a very hot summer that
Stylistically it is a wine that relies on sheer power over subtlety; but   year. This isn’t an especially complex Rosso del Conte, but the wine
the balance and sense of harmony are nevertheless superb.                  nevertheless impresses for its balance, poise and harmony.
     The estate’s 2004 Rosso del Conte is incredibly polished and               The 1991 Rosso del Conte, the product of a harsh winter and cold
silky on the palate. The aromatics are equally compelling, as an           summer, is firm and austere, with unyielding tannins.
array of tobacco, earthiness, tar, leather, licorice and herbs emerge           The 1989 is a wonderfully complete Rosso del Conte. Round, soft
from the glass, adding multiple layers of nuance to the expressive         and harmonious, the wine offers up plums, prunes, spices and worn-in
dark fruit. The 2004 is an excellent choice for readers who want to        leather supported by firm yet polished tannins. The cold, harsh winter
get a sense of a vintage that is beginning to show the early signs of      was followed by a hot summer that led to a mid-October harvest.
development in bottle.                                                          The estate’s 1983 Rosso del Conte is a decidedly rustic, old-style
     The 2003 Rosso del Conte is the product of a torrid year that         offering. Fully tertiary dried fruit, spices, roasted coffee beans, herbs and
saw the entire harvest finished by the end of September, an                animal notes emerge from the glass. While this powerful, big Rosso del
anomaly in these parts. The 2003 is a fat, opulent Rosso del Conte         Conte may lack a measure of finesse it is still in great shape 27 years
with plenty of density in its fruit and a mostly round, seamless           later, and that in and of itself is a quite an achievement.
personality that follows through to the finish. The hard tannins that          The 1981 stands apart from the rest of these Rosso del Contes as it
are common in 2003 are a bit of an issue, but they are handled as          is the only wine that is past its peak. Now fully tertiary and oxidized, its
well as can reasonably be expected. Pretty suggestions of licorice         balance is dominated by dried-out fruit and rustic, earthy aromas and
and leather add complexity on the close. The 2003 remains a                flavors.
rather burly vintage of Rosso del Conte, and it is best enjoyed at             Tasca d’Almerita produced a gem of a wine in their 1979 Rosso del
the dinner table.                                                          Conte. At 31 years of age, the wine is still perfectly intact, as can be seen
      The 2002 is another of the more virile, masculine Rosso del          by its sound color. The 1979 is a touch rustic, but the wine has developed
Contes in this lineup. Firm tannins frame a core of dark fruit,            far better than anyone could have reasonably expected. The fruit is soft
tobacco, earthiness and leather.                                           and perfumed while the tannins remain firm yet well-balanced. It is fair to
    The 2001 Rosso del Conte comes across as quite youthful in a           say that the 1979 is the biggest surprise in this entire tasting, as it has
style that marries elements of power and elegance.                         matured into a splendid wine.

Page 7 of 7                                                                                                 Current Vintages highlighted in yellow

Shared By: