Thursday, January 26, 2006

What drinkin' wine's all about: 1995 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici

It may seem, if you've been keeping up with my teeny little blog, that I've been on an Italian kick. Well I have. Italian wine effin' rules.

Ever had an Aglianico before? Please do. Aglianico is one of those ancient grapes that hasn't yet been yanked out of the ground and replaced with Chardonnay. It's Southern Italy's answer to Barolo, and while it shares little of the international limelight, it has all the intoxicating aromas you could ever hope for. They're tannic monsters in their youth, but once they're all mellowed out, they're gorgeous.

The first bottle I had of this was so dreamy after we decanted it that I went out the next day and bought the only other bottle at the store. The second bottle lay sleeping in my cooler for another several months, until night before last, when the Hub and I decided to indulge once again.

We even paired it with the exact same dish it went so well with the time before---a flank steak with an olive, pepperdew and basil sauce. This time, instead of decanting it, we let it evolve in the glass, and spent the entire evening geeking out about what we could smell and taste. Because we're dorks like that. We didn't even watch the movie we rented until the whole bottle was finished, and all the glorious sediment had been admired.

Sediment porn

So what did we smell and taste? Rich, stewed fruits, cocoa powder, pepper, violets, and after that, we were just getting silly with word association. It was the kind of wine that makes you giddy when you smell it, and that, friends, is what it's all about.

Now, wouldn't it be a shame if the international wine market bullied out beautiful varietal wines like this? Next time you think: oh well, give the world the Merlot/Shiraz blends it wants and stop whining, you need to try a bottle full of velvet like this one. I've seen this bottle, and even this vintage, for fair prices on the internet. It's well worth your time.



Anonymous wineguy said...

"Sediment Porn"...I love it!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Smart mouth? maybe. Just plain smart? Yes! Italian wine is fantastic. Try a white. May I suggest: Firriato's Altavilla dela Corte Bianco (100% Grillo); Paradiso's Lo Strobismo (Albana Romagna blend)you'll love the label; Conte Giovanni Baldeschi Balleani's Cru Donna Ginevra (verdicchio)like silk!; Il Fiore's Serra Dei Fiori "evening of the flowers" (Chardonnay/Riesling). I'd love to hear your comments on these. Buon Sapore!

8:07 AM  
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