Our first encounter with Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva is the vintage 1997 and vintage 1964 over dinner with Shanghainese food in Wanchai 7 years ago. Given the strong personality, compact structure, and aromatic concentration of its enabling grape Aglianico, the two vintages surprisingly matched seamlessly. After that dinner, we just thought every taster should get a case of Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva for future benchmarking tastings, while this wine is still cheap. Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva 2009 is as beautiful. It is of dark ruby. It has bright orange reflections with a tight rim; it looks unique. On the nose, Chinese pipe tobacco, spiced plum, underbrush, vanilla, new leather and balsamic aromas jump out from the glass. Juicy and delicious palate doles out fleshy black cherry, crushed raspberry, liquorice and ground pepper, enveloping in the mouth, elegant, and persistent.
The wine seems to have a Greek name. The family of Berardino, taking the professional title 'Mastro' - master craftsman in winemaking - began the lineage in the 1700s. So the Mastroberardino family has been preserving the identity of the local varieties and vineyards. It is ensuring their preservation and enhancement both in Italy and throughout the world. Radici means 'root'. Taurasi is one DOCG from the South who can challenge those of Piedmonte and Toscana. Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva 2009 is a 'technical' wine and contemporarily made the first time in 1986. Taurasi Radici Riserva follows traditional red wine vinification. It uses extended maceration on the skins and fermentation at a controlled temperature. Ageing is 30 months in 40 hl oak barrels and barriques and 12 months in bottle. Yes, this wine has extended wood treatment maceration treatment, its fruit never suppressed. They can keep at least 20 years. Soil type is chalky clayey; Guyot/cordon spur training system; the vineyard is approximately 500m above sea-level; density of 4,000 vines per hectare; vine age is over 20 years. The harvesting takes place in late early November; manual harvest; yield per hectare is about 6 tons. Parker's tasting notes(RP95) is as follows. Mastroberardino has crafted a remarkable 2009 Taurasi Radici Riserva. The wine reveals dark fiber and concentration with interwoven aromas of toasted nut, spice and hearty dark fruit. Pressed cherry, plum and black currant define the fruity element of the bouquet. The mouthfeel is plush and....
Also, WS comments:
An impressive red, seamless yet substantial in structure, loaded with notes of black currant and blackberry preserves, mineral, smoke and earth. Fragrant anise, tobacco and graphite accents glide on the long, lasting finish. Drink now through 2034. - Alison Napjus