Mastroberardino, “Radici” Taurasi DOCG 2015 (about $54)

Italian Wine for july, 2022

Mastroberardino is one of the most well-known and storied wineries in southern Italy. Established in the mid-1700’s in the Campania region, it is one of the region’s oldest wineries and today is generally regarded as one of southern Italy’s premier wineries.

The current owner and manager of the estate is Piero Mastroberardino, the tenth generation of the family to run the winery. While Piero is mindful of the estate’s long history and cultural roots his primary focus is on the future which he engages with an innovative and energetic spirit.

As an inside, a few years ago I was able to conduct an intensive interview with Piero regarding his initiatives in reclaiming the ancient native varieties of the Campania region which you can read in detail HERE.

The Mastroberardino winery produces a number of red and white wines made principally with indigenous varieties. However, the real star of the show is the estate’s Taurasi Radici that is produced entirely with Aglianico grapes.

While Aglianico is grown widely throughout southern Italy it is in the Taurasi zone, along with the Monte del Vulture zone in the Basilicata region, that the Aglianico grape achieves the pinnacle of perfection. This late-ripening grape produces full-bodied, velvety textured and long-lived red wines frequently referred to as the “Barolos of the South.”

Taurasi’s production zone consists of the area around the historic town of Taurasi in the Avellino province in Campania. Taurasi gained DOCG status in 1993 and wines from this appellation must consist of at least 85 percent Aglianico from the province of Avellino while the remaining amount must consist of other permitted local red varieties. The wines must also be aged for at least three years with at least one year in wood.

First produced in 1968, Mastroberardino’s Taurasi Radici garnered immediate praise and quickly became an Italian classic. The word “radici” means “roots” in Italian and connotes Mastroberardino’s intimate connections to the local area as well as the winery’s initiatives in preserving Campania’s ancient indigenous grape varieties.

The 2015 “Radici” Taurasi DOCG from the Mastroberardino winery in Italy's Campania region.The 2015 Taurasi Radici is made entirely of Aglianico that is aged for two years in a combination of large-format oak barrels and small oak barriques and spends an additional two years in the bottle prior to release for sale.

The 2015 Taurasi Radici has a bold and generous personality with spicy dark fruit aromas and packed with mouth-filling ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with just a kiss of cassis. It has a supple structure with an enticing mouthfeel and caressing texture. The finish is a real treat, long, grippy and persistent with sweet tannin notes. The wine clocks in with 15.5 percent alcohol.

This wine is an ideal companion for braised or roasted meats, game and medium-aged cheeses. It is an age-worthy wine that has ample capacity for further evolution in the bottle.

The 2015 vintage is still available but you'll have to look some. Meanwhile, the 2016 and 2017 vintages have been released and are generally available. While not as mature as the 2015 they have a richness and depth that will stand you well in its stead.

 

©Richard Marcis
July 2, 2022

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