Sometimes a wine is exactly what it says it is. And other times, it lies like a crack addict picked up for a basic traffic violation on an episode of COPS (“that’s not my stem, officer, I swear!!”).
This wine is a liar.
What do I mean by all this? Wherefore art I calling this bitch out? Because the nose and the palate don’t line up. Don’t match. There is little here that you taste, of the things you smell. Capisce?
Now, I am told by some sources that Taurasi is the ultimate expression of aglianico grapes. The only denominazione d'origine controlata e garantita (DOCG) wine made with aglianico is, indeed, Taurasi.
So I can only hope that this is not indicative of Taurasi in general. Or, perhaps, that it is, that I am a fool, and need simply to broaden my rather lackluster bona fides when it comes to tasting Italian wine. Either of these situations is possible. Neither is terrifying.
To the wine, then.
The 2004 Radici Taurasi from Mastroberardino is a very, very pretty wine in the glass. The core is a dark purple, but the edges lighten to a bright red that almost seems out of place (more lies, perhaps?!). On the nose are some wonderful notes of raspberry truffle, cocoa, espresso, and raspberry syrup. It’s big, it smells thick and bright, and oh, so inviting.
And there’s the rub. Because when you taste this wine, you are greeted with none of these notes. The wine is medium bodied with tannins sharp enough to field dress a 12-point buck. The flavor bouquet centers not around dark chocolate and espresso, nor around bright jammy fruit. It’s all earth, stone, and frankly, dirt. It’s even a bit unpleasant.
The tannins (and the DOCG’s reputation) lead me to believe this wine needs more time… but it is already six years past harvest, should be about three past release (the Taurasi DOCG rules require 36 months aging). In reality, that is still young. Is this wine perhaps in an awkward stage?
They say teenagers lie, too. It would make sense.