1997 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva DOCG 馬斯特巴迪洛哈迪奇珍藏干紅
Tobacco, smoke and ash are some of the notes that appear to round out the rich fruit in the 1997 Taurasi Radici Riserva. The vintage produced a fat, full-bodied Taurasi loaded with fruit. The tannins retain elements of roughness, which is just about the only thing that keeps the score from going higher here. This is an impressive showing from a wine that could merit a higher score down the road. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2027.
My recent tasting with Piero Mastroberardino was a once in a lifetime experience, and not just for me. This was the largest comprehensive vertical the estate had ever staged of their wines. The tasting covered 29 wines (the 30th was corked!) spanning an unbelievable eight decades, going back to the inaugural 1928. All of the wines were brought over from the estate’s cellars, which guaranteed perfect provenance. None of the bottles had ever been reconditioned or recorked. The bottles were opened a few hours prior to serving. Mastroberardino is the royal family of Campania. The estate’s Taurasi, first produced in 1928, is a legendary wine that can rival the best from any region. The Taurasis from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, all made in a staunchly traditional style, remain benchmarks for the entire region. After a period of inconsistent results in the 1990s Mastroberardino seems to have found its way again with a largely traditional approach to winemaking. Although many of today’s leading producers in Campania have chosen to pursue a more modern approach, there is little question that Mastroberardino paved the way for all important wines in Campania. Today Mastroberardino releases as many as three separate Taurasis in any given vintage. The regular Taurasi Radici is made predominantly from vineyards in Mirabella Eclano, but occasionally incorporates fruit from Montemarano as well, while the Radici Riserva is produced from vineyards in Montemarano. Both Radici Taurasis are aged in a combination of French oak barrels and larger Slavonian oak casks. The term Radici refers to the family’s long-running research into clonal selection, rootstocks, site selection and a host of other variables rather than identifying a single vineyard. The Taurasi Naturalis Historia comes from vines in Mirabella Eclano but is made with a more modern view of oenology and is aged exclusively in French oak. Mastroberardino’s 1968 Taurasis are legendary. That year the estate released three single-zone Taurasi Riservas from vineyards in Montemarano, Pian d’Angelo and Castelfranci in addition to their regular and Riserva bottlings. To be clear, these aren’t single-vineyard Taurasis, rather Montemarano, Pian d’Angelo and Castelfranci are best described as zones. Oddly, despite the huge success of their 1968s, Mastroberardino never made the single-zone Taurasis again. While I have tasted the single-zone Taurasis in the past, they weren’t part of this retrospective.