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Mastroberardino’s “Barolo of the South,” Majestic CVNE Rioja Gran Reserva, and Giacosa Barolo Falletto
April 10, 2017
A Note from Sergio

Here's an interesting thing: the wine world is only just beginning to appreciate southern Italian wines. Some of Italy's best and strongest grapes--Aglianico, Nero d'Avola, and Primitivo, for example--hail from the arid climate of Italy's South, and for millennia, producers have been using these grapes to craft powerful, complex wines that most people have never drunk. Until recently, it was very difficult to find wines from the Mezzogiorno--Campania, Puglia, Abruzzo, Sicilia, and so forth. Italy's southern winemakers lacked both the economy and the good name necessary to successfully market wine themselves, so they quietly sold their grapes to northern winemakers or exported them to France. The sole southern region that consistently made world-class wines is Campania, an area that for decades was dominated by the talented Mastroberardino family.

The late, great Antonio Mastroberardino single-handedly brought the indigenous Aglianico back from the brink of extinction; his finesse with creating a gorgeous mono-varietal wine from that dark grape cemented his legacy (his sons Piero and Carlo carry on his traditions) and brought the wines of Campania into the collective wine consciousness. Antonio was a visionary man, Mastroberardino is a visionary estate, and the wine world was irrevocably changed when the estate released its watershed 1968 Taurasi. With that wine, the world recognized Campania, Aglianico and Mastroberardino as major players. Some people like to call Aglianico the "Nebbiolo of the South" and its best-known wine, Taurasi, the "Barolo of the South," but I prefer appreciating the grape and its wines on their own terms.

Today, I'm very proud to present a pair of great Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici (the last word, "radici," means "roots," and it's Mastroberardino's own twist on the DOCG name): the estate's 2007 Taurasi Radici Riserva and its 1995 Taurasi Radici. Aglianico is burly and wild, and these wines are massive--drink the '95 now and let the '07 sit in your cellar. Under $70, these two Mastroberardino bottles seriously outperform their price points; they're terrific to buy by the case. Along with these big, beautiful wines, I've chosen two more, a benchmark Rioja from Spanish powerhouse CVNE in double magnums and an outrageously good 2012 Giacosa Barolo Falletto that you'll want to drink again and again. Helping you to discover great wine is the best part of my job!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Mastroberardino Taurasi Duo, One for Now and One for Later!
2. Only At IWM:
Big, Beautiful Bottles of CVNE '04 Imperial Gran Reserva
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Radiant, Expressive Giacosa '12 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga
4. Wine Events: Upcoming April Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito
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Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 2012 750ml
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 2012 750ml
Price: $264.99

2012 was an atypical growing year for Piemonte--a snowy winter led to a warm summer, but harvest saw cool temperatures--but this radiant Barolo from Bruno Giacosa embodies the grace of the vintage in its open-knit, aromatic profile. Grape yields were also down about a third in 2012, so this Barolo is extra intense and dense; however, it nonetheless conveys Giacosa’s extraordinary hand in its purity, structure and telltale Serralunga palate of bright red fruits, rose petals, scorched earth, and smoke. Balanced and sinuous, this ’12 Barolo belies its warm vintage with its fresh acidity and beautiful structure. One of the most iconic wines from one of the greatest masters of Barolo, Giacosa's Barolo Falletto di Serralunga derives from vineyards that reach 420 meters above sea level, making it an ideal site for warm vintage wines. Grapes for this Barolo ferment for 15 days in stainless steel, and the wine ages for 32 months in barrel, followed by eight months in bottle. more info