Thursday 6 December 2012

Tasting 8 Vintages of Terra di Lavoro, Galardi

Aglianico is, for me, a grape that often is a hit or a miss. Those times that the ripe fruit, the warmth and big tannins come together, the wines are a large-scaled mouthful of great character. Especially together with some grilled meat - there is a winning combination!
But when the fruit is too ripe, the warmth is of the alcohol kind and the tannins behaves like a steamroller, then it´s not for me.

So it was with great anticipation that I accepted the invitation from the Swedish importer VinUnic to get to taste 8 vintages of Terre di Lavoro from Galardi.
Terre di Lavoro is made up of 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso.

Upon arrivel we were greated with delicious finger sandwiches and a bottle of bubbly.
2005 Louis Roederer Brut
This was served as champagne should be served - from a magnum! A fine, interesting nose with notes of yellow apples and plums, hyacinth, clementines and a touch of rubber. Very, very good.
The taste is fresh and salivating with notes of yellow apples, lime, dry fudge and summer flowers. The acidity is crisp and fine. The initial taste when it hits the tongue is that of freshly fallen snow! This is delicate.
90p   (tasted 2012/12)

Then we sat down at the tasting table were the first flight of Terra di Lavoro already had been poured.
All wines tasted non blind.

2010 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
A deep, finely spiced, warm nose with notes of ripe plums, blueberries, almond paste, minerals and earth. Very good. This is very young but has a promising character.
The taste is young, tight and somewhat peppery with additional notes of plums, dark chocolate and christmas spices. There is a fine warmth here. Long and fine. I would guess that this is going to turn into a great bottle 5-8 years down the line.
92p   (tasted 2012/12)

2009 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
A big, extrovert, fiery nose with notes of cherry jam, plywood, orange peel and a hint of whisky. This is the kind of Aglianico that I have a problem with, too much, too warm, too rigid.
The taste follows the nose with big fiery black fruit, a tight, dry tannin structure and a long, fiery finish, and when the finish ends the fruit is long gone. There is a green streak in there too. This may have its admirers, but I´m not one of them..
76p   (tasted 2012/12)

2008 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
This is more like it! When I dip my nose in the glass I am reminded of how I thought fine Bordeaux smelt 20 years ago when they (and me!) were young. A fine, deep, creamy nose with lovely notes of blueberries, rosehips, plums, dried spices and a ever so small hint of mint. This is intense, stylish and full of vigour. Great wine!
The taste is young, concentrated and tight with notes of blueberries, almonds, earth, Valrhona chocolate and some new expensive leather. Very pure and vibrant. The finish goes on for over a minute. Still young, but this is going places.
95p   (tasted 2012/12)

2007 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
From a magnum. The nose is deep, warm and upfront with notes of ripe plums, blackberries, herbs and some chocolaty notes. The first that reveals a hint of maturity. The warmth is very fine.
The taste is more tight than the nose leads you to believe with ripe, bold fruit, big tannins and long, warm finish that ends with a note of a dusty Italian summer road. There is some dried blueberries, spices and leather here too. I think this is for drinking sooner than later, but on this night it is that full bodied, warm mouthful of character that I want in a Aglianico.
90p   (tasted 2012/12)

2006 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
A fine, round, deep and even elegant nose with lovely notes of sweet blueberries, red currants, warm earth and old expensive leather. This is, I think/guess, on top of its game with a wonderful combination of semi mature scents and a more youthful backbone. Very, very good.
The taste is still tight but also here you can feel that the tannins has softened a bit and the mouthfeel is that of a maturing wine. There are gorgeous notes of blueberries, black cherries, tobacco and a Italian gravel road. A long, long, steadfast finish. Really stunning!
94p   (tasted 2012/12)

2003 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
I was worried that this would be tainted by this hot year, as the 2009, but not at all. The nose is open, albeit warm, but in restrained way with fine notes of ripe plums, blackberries, christmas spices, violets and a hint of toothpaste. Deep and fine. This has evolved nicely.
The taste is big, warm and tight with lots of plumcake notes and some pipe tobacco, earth and old leather. The finish is long, warm and steady with a nice grip. Maybe the tannins are a tad rustic, but that is nitpicking. A very fine wine.
92p   (tasted 2012/12)

2002 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
This was like the proverbial Norwegian blue...
50p   (tasted 2012/12)

2001 Terra di Lavoro, Galardi
A mature, round, fine nose with notes of plums, green raisins, dry tobacco, moist earth and old leather. With air more and more dried fruit aromas emerged. Very nice in its mature kind of way. A fine warmth to the (dried) fruit.
The taste is tight, seedy and warm with notes of dried plums and red currants, tobacco, violet pastils and gravel. The finish is long, rather elegant and with lots of character. Very, very good. This has matured in a fine manner.
89p   (tasted 2012/12)

This was a fascinating expose over Terre di Lavoro. The 2008 and 2006 were the stars of the tasting for me, and for what they cost they are bargains. But I don´t know if these kind of wines really talks to my heart, like Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir do (even though Aglianico sometimes is called the "Barolo of the south"...)? I just have too keep on exploring!

But the tasting wasn´t over yet! We got the chance to try a few more wines out of VinUnic´s portfolio.

2010 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Poissenots, Domaine Louis Jadot
Aaaaaah, this is it. Light as a feather, but at the same time full of stuffing. The nose is stunning with its scents of just ripe strawberries, pine nuts, forest floor, asian spices and a lovely perfumed note. So pure, so intoxicating, so beautiful. Very young of course, but simply irresistible.
The taste is elegant, fresh and light on its feet with gorgeous notes of rasberries, wild strawberries, mushrooms and hint of dark chocolate. So, so fine. Great acidity at work here. This will become something stunning in due course, but even now its luscious to drink.
95p   (tasted 2012/12)

2010 Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine Louis Jadot
This will surely get the upper hand on the Poissenots in 10 years time but today it has a more restrained profile. The nose is deep, tight and complex with notes of ripe rasberries, lingonberries, spices and cocoa powder. Very, very fine. This has more depth than the previous wine but you just get to see glimpses of whats underneath.
The taste is young, tight and purity itself, with notes of lingonberries, christmas spices, forest floor and balsa wood. The finish is long but a tad compressed. This needs time. But in 10+ years time, look out!
93p   (tasted 2012/12

2004 Stonyridge Larose
This New Zeeland Bordeaux blend has a deep, creamy, fine notes of black currants, blueberries, pipe tobacco, hot earth and a hint of vanilla. A bit of smoke emerges with air. Very good.
The taste is tight and intense with lots of sweet black currant  fruit and notes of tobacco, leather, pencil shavings and dark chocolate. A long, medium big finish than ends a tad foursquare. Good but not great.
88p   (tasted 2012/12)

2010 Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières, Domaine Louis Jadot
All these red wines, and the white gets the gold! This is flat out spectacular! The nose is pure, complex and opulent with stunning notes of white peaches, lemon peel, dry fudge, summer flowers and lots and lots of sweet minerals. The empty glass just oozes pan fried nuts. So, so fine.
The taste is just beautiful with layers upon layers of sweet yellow fruit, piercing acidity and a minute long, intense finish. Gorgeous notes of white currants, pressed summer flowers, lemon cream and a hint of oak. This is marvellous! And will surely stay that way for the coming 10 years. This is a must buy!
96p   (tasted 2012/12)

2009 Saint-Joseph Vignes de l`Hospice, Guigal
And as a encore, this bottle was opened. A fruity, open, peppery nose greats you, with fine notes of blackberries, meat stock, fresh stables and a field full of violets. Expressive and fine.
The taste is young, pure and gulpable with notes of blueberries, rowanberries, peppered meat, violet pastils and dark chocolate. The finish is medium big with rather friendly tannins. This is beginning its good-to-go phase. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2012/12)

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