Tasting notes: Deep ruby red. Full, complex, and fine, with notes of tobacco, spices, cherry, berries, and balsamic. An enveloping palate, with elegant and persistent notes of plum, bitter cherry, strawberry jam, black pepper and licorice. Pair with mature cheeses, truffles, and roasted red meats.
Producer: The Mastroberardino family, leaders in Italian viticulture, are largely responsible for the revival and elevation of Irpinian and Campanian winemaking post WWII. Their efforts ignited a resurgence in quality red and white wine production in all of Southern Italy. Working primarily with Campania’s ancient, native varietals, Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico. Aglianico, especially as grown in the Taurasi region of Campania, is one of Italy’s most important native grapes—a “noble” variety on par with Nebbiolo (Barolo) and Sangiovese (Brunello; Chianti). Radici is one of Southern Italy’s benchmark reds and one of the handful of wines from this part of the world found in the savviest collectors’ wine cellars. Even today, as southern Italy’s wines continue to grow in prestige and Taurasi—long nicknamed “the Barolo of the south”—is recognized as an important terroir, it remains under-explored and (mostly) overlooked by the “fine wine” market. But as today’s ’14 proves unequivocally, to ignore this place and grape is to miss out on one of the most powerful and distinctive red wine experiences out there.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Radici Taurasi Riserva, first produced in 1986, is the result of extensive physical and chemical research within their single vineyard Montemarano estate. Selecting the best sites for their Riserva production, the wine’s strong, dense structure and aromatic concentration are evident characteristics of this 40-year-old vineyard. Manual harvest takes place early November. Fermentation in stainless steel is followed by a long maceration period at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. Aged for 30 months in French oak barriques and Slavonian casks, followed by at least 36 months refinement in bottle. Radici, meaning “roots,” refers to Mastroberardino’s comprehensive research into clonal selection, rootstocks, and site selection when crafting their Taurasi wines.
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