Thursday 9 May 2013

Then & Now - 1985 & 2007 Taurasi, Mastroberardino

As I mentioned in a previous post Aglianico is often a hit or miss with me. This evening it was time to taste the Bonus Pater Familias of Aglianico (in 1985 there was only 2-3 producers of Taurasi), the Taurasi from Mastroberardino. It was a long time since I tasted some vintages of Taurasi, though I remember tasting the 1991 from Mastroberardino a few years back that was very good.
I recently got an offer for the famous 1968 Riserva and while tempted the price tag was a bit steep...

It is interesting that in all my wine books that cover Italy, Aglianico is referred to have "Greek origins", even Jancis Robinsons The Wine Drinker´s Guide to Grape Varieties from 1986.
But reading the newly published tome from Jancis Robinson et al - Wine Grapes - a new truth is revealed:
"Neither linguistic nor genetic evidence supports a Greek erymology and origin for Aglianico. Therefore, it seems most likely that Aglianico is an ancient grape from southers Italy."

Info here. And two articels, one here and the other here, from the same tasting where, among others, the 1985 was tasted.

Well, time to open the 1985 and the 22 year younger 2007!

1985 Taurasi, Mastroberardino
The last vintage where this wine was called only Taurasi. Starting with the 1986 vintage this wine is called Radici Taurasi, as below, and is made from grapes sourced from three different areas.
The cork broked and the first scent was of a wine over the hill....too bad I thought....but with air it came alive with notes of lingonberries, dried mushrooms, violets, dry resin and animal notes. Old style, but very good. Writing this, 4 hours after pulling the cork, it goes from strength to strength. This actually reminds me of an old Barolo.
The taste is mature, tight and restrained with notes of dried rasberries, lingonberry bushes, mushrooms, old fur and some still tough tannins. Deep and fine. With a creamy potato gratin and some grilled meat it behaved perfectly, but on its own it is a tad four squared, although there is layers of complexity here. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/05)

2007 Radici Taurasi, Mastroberardino
22 years younger, and it shows. A very ripe, concentrated and upfront nose with notes of ripe blueberries, dark chocolate, bakelite and a warm herbal scent. A lot of warmth. Medium deep.
The taste is big, tight and concentrated with notes of sweet blueberries, violet pastills, moist earth and a long, warm finish. To be honest, the middle taste is a bit thin, but other than that this is a big, juicy, sweet mouthful. Maybe I will have to wait 22 years for the complexity to show? This is 14 % alcohol compared to the 1985 which is 12%.
85p   (tasted 2013/05)


  1. It's so difficult to taste young and old together side by side - especially the old wine makes the young one seem way too young! But also vice versa...

    Remember the vertical tasting with Alain Brumont recently ;-)

  2. But its fun! And me being a certified necrophiliac I think all winea are too young...:-)