Recently tried the 2001 Taurasi Riserva from Contrade di Taurasi (Enza Lonardo), $70 USA retail, € 35 winery price.
Rated 94 by Galloni ("The 2001 Taurasi Riserva is off the charts. This dense, sumptuous Taurasi almost has enough sheer extract to cover the tannins. Almost. The fruit here is dark, jammy and super-ripe, but also perfectly balanced with the wine’s structural components. With some time in the glass, signature notes of tar, smoke, licorice, leather and minerals appear, rounding out this massively constituted Taurasi. ")
Suggested drink window 2010-2021.
Rated four stars (out of five) by Duemilavini 2007 ("Granato scurissimo. Naso caratterizzato da confettura di more, incenso, cacao, tabacco Kentucky e liquirizia. Gusto potente e giustamente tannico, chiuso da una PAI [Persistenza Aromatica Intensa] perfettamente coerente, lunga e balsamica.")
Sorry to disagree with all of the above.
Mine was tannic to the point of raspyness, no underlying flavors, no persistence.
Structure? If any finesse was in there, it passed undetectable to this dilettante.
Missus ( a consistent palate for Italian liquids ) judged it a "South American plonk. Good to be drunk with Perrier though".
And we are one year away form Galloni's window, which means we are inside of it, give or take a year shouldn't matter, or at least not by that much.
Affected by reefer (or lack thereof?), storage, transport? Not sure about the importer (Polaner ), retailer is certainly reliable.
Au contraire, the 2005 Campania Rosso IGT ($25 USA retail, 9 € at the winery) from the same producer turned out to be very enjoyable, and certainly way higher QPR.
Ignored by Galloni, rated 4 starts by Duemilavini 2008, with a description I can fully endorse ("Rubino con accenni granato. Dimensione olfattiva intrigante, con un filo selvatico ma di bella personalità: macchia, rovo, mineralità decisa, piccoli frutti di bosco ancora freschi. Più scolpito in bocca, di "allegra" tannicità e buona spinta acido-sapida che ne traccia la persistenza. Tannino ben integrato in un contesto di sostanziale equilibrio. Il 70% della massa sosta per quasi un anno in acciaio, il resto in botti da 500 litri. Poi un anno in bottiglia. Carne alla pizzaiola.").
We certainly enjoyed, con carne. The pizzaiola component will follow with the balance.
Funny thing but I bought a six pack of the Lonardo 2001 Riserva last year because it was a steal, though when I tasted it, I also thought it was undrinkable at the time. Extremely tannic, tobacco and tar on the palate. I only bought it because I love Taurasi and hoped in 10 more years it would soften. I tried to find some information on Lonardo and was at first stymied but boy was I happy later to read Galloni's review. I didn't see that much potential but I hope he's correct.
Taurasi comes from the area of Irpinia, which is known for its winter cuisine. Tasting notes may include hints of cherry, wild berries, tobacco, liquorice, oak, tar, and black pepper. It’s best served with red meat, wild game, and mature cheeses, such as caciocavallo (provolone) or parmigiano. Anything a bit heavy, especially if the bottle has a bit of age on it. Producers such as Terredora, Macchialupa, Di Meo, Molettieri, Montesolae will do justice to true Taurasi.
Yes to red meats, especially lamb and game. Choose ingredients and cooking methods that are more flavourful (e.g. grilled lamb and vension) for younger vintages, more subtly flavoured (e.g. roasted wild boar, braised quail) for older wines. Old vintages can be fabulous with Italian black ("summer") truffles.