TN: Diana Taurasi

2002 Taurasi (Campania) – I didn’t forget to indicate a producer; this was hand-bottled (under a plug-shaped plastic doodad) and labeled with pen on a sticky label by a relative of a relative, then gifted to us a few years ago during a visit to Rome. I’ve since waited for a good time to open it, feeling that the closure wouldn’t allow any sort of typical Taurasi aging curve, and a few expressions of enthusiasm for aglianico from guests gives me the opportunity. At first whiff, some of the classic homebrew flaws are in evidence – brett, some volatile acidity – but as the wine airs, these are subsumed into the wine’s classic, typicité-revelatory qualities. There’s the blackest fruit well-laden with dark tannin, wild backcountry acidity, and a spicy, mineral-driven core swirling with razor-edged iron shards. (The next day, the flaws are gone, leaving only the blackberry-dominated fruit, tannin, and all that aforementioned ferric goodness.) One guest hesitantly jokes that it might be the wine of the night, but even given the stiff competition (and acknowledging a likely reduction in objectivity, given the source) I’ll state it with full confidence. This is a remarkable achievement, and without question the best true amateur wine I’ve ever tasted. (2/07)

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