TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

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Otto Forsberg
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TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#1 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 11th, 2020, 3:36 am

In February this Italophile friend of mine arranged a vertical tasting on Campania's something of a cult wine, the esteemed Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro.

I guess Terra di Lavoro was made into a cult wine right from the start. The whole project started in 1991, when cousins Maria Luisa Murena, Roberto Selvaggi, Arturo and Dora Celentano, and Francesco Catello decided to start out to make an ambitious local wine as a sort of a hobby. They planted local cultivars Aglianico and Piedirosso in vineyards located in the northern part of Campania, between the Roccamonfina volcano and Mediterranean sea, and hired Riccardo Cotarella of Falesco fame as a consultant winemaker to guarantee the high quality of the wine. The first vintage of Terra di Lavoro was made from the very first harvest in 1994. The wines were made under the lowly Vino Rosso da Tavola designation until the 1997 vintage. From the 1998 vintage onward these wines have been labeled as IGT Roccamonfina.

Now I really can't remember a Cotarella wine I've truly liked, since he seems to be the Michel Rolland of Italy, making quite anonymous modern wines that more often than not remind me more of contemporary Right-Bank Bordeaux reds than anything showing true sense of place. However, when reading CT tasting notes on these wines, many commented of the high quality of these wines and their formidable tannic structures - this was Aglianico, after all: a variety known for its assertive tannins. Since I love tannic, ageworthy wines, Aglianico and Italian wines in general, I decided to join this tasting and get a better picture of this acclaimed wine. At this point I hadn't learned of Cotarella's association with the winery.

Well, what did I learn? Well, I guess Cotarella's magic touch is even stronger than the rustic nature of these varieties. Especially the youngest vintages tasted more of modern new world Cabernet Sauvignons than anything remotely Campanian with their dominant cassis character. Furthermore, I was baffled by how many TNs on Terra di Lavoro in CT talked of very aggressive and tightly-knit tannins, because with many vintages the tannins seemed just very ripe, super-soft and gentle, not packing any grip at all. You could taste that there was quite a bit of tannins in the wine from the chewy, extracted mouthfeel, but they were always very ripe, soft and silky. Even the most tannic vintages felt very mellow and accessible for Aglianico-based wines; if I were to taste these blind, I'm 100% positive I would never guess they were Campanian. For the most part, I wondered if I really had tasted the same wines at all as those people who spoke of very tannic and classically built Aglianico wines in CT.

So, in a nutshell: I really wasn't impressed by these wines. The best vintages were really wonderful, but very seldom I really had a feeling that I was drinking Campanian wines. Especially the newer vintages were simply too oaky, soft and clumsy to be truly enjoyable and while stylish and enjoyable, the older vintages felt more like modern Bordeaux reds with some age than anything Aglianico. I would recommend these wines to people who love ageworthy yet accessible modernist Bdx wines, but for the fans of Aglianico, I recommend skipping these wines entirely and concentrating on more affordable yet more interesting wines of Taurasi and Vulture. These are winemaker's wines, not wines of local color.
  • 2011 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 15 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 14% alcohol, 5,3 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 32,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Almost fully opaque and very slightly hazy blackish-red color. Big, ripe and quite polished nose with very Cabernet-like nose of sweet blackcurrant, some blueberry tones, light toasty oak tones, a little bit of chocolatey mocha oak, a woody hint of pencil shavings and a touch of black cherry. The overall feel here is that of a modern Bordeaux, not Campanian wine. The wine is ripe, full-bodied and juicy on the palate with flavors of sweet blackcurrants, some blueberry tones, light toasty oak tones and lighter nuances of savory oak spice, a little bit of astringent chokeberry character, a sanguine hint of iron and a touch of leather. The structure relies mostly on the high acidity; the tannins are ample, but so ripe that they contribute mainly to the chewy texture, not to the structure. The finish is dry, long and very gently grippy with quite intense flavors of sour cherries, some redcurrants, a little bit of extracted woody bitterness, light peppery tones, a hint of earthy and a crunchy touch of astringent chokeberry.

    A big, ripe and accessible effort for an Aglianico-driven blend. Riccardo Cotarella's fingerprints are all over the wine; it shows less sense of place and comes across more as a modern red wine made to be a Southern Italian facsimile of a Napa Cab or a contemporary Left-Bank Bordeaux. Not a bad wine in any way, but these glossy, modern red wines really don't cut it for me. I want my Aglianicos robust and tannic, not soft and oaky. In the vertical tasting this vintage came across as noticeably oakier and more modern than the rest of the vintages, but we couldn't make it out whether it was only because of the age or if the winemaking had changed with this vintage. Nevertheless, I can imagine this vintage will benefit from further aging - in the hopes the oak will integrate better with the fruit.
    (88 pts.)


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  • 2010 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 14 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 14% alcohol, 5,0 g/l acidity and pH 3,8. Total production approximately 32,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Deep, luminous and almost fully opaque blackish-red color with a slightly dried blood-red hue. Crunchy and surprisingly herbaceous nose with aromas of chopped bell pepper, fresh blackcurrants, some inky tones, a little bit of ripe redcurrants, light savory wood tones and a sanguine hint of iron. The wine is ripe and silky on the palate with medium body and fresh, savory flavors of cranberries, some vegetal notes of bell pepper, light woody, bitter notes of extracted oak, a little bit of tart lingonberry, a hint of tobacco and a touch of old, dry leather. The wine is quite high in acidity, but while the tannins are ample, they are also very ripe and thoroughly manicured, coming across very gentle and textural, not grippy. The finish is dry, textural and quite subtly grippy with savory flavors of leafy herbaceous tones, some cooked bell pepper, a little bit of crunchy redcurrants, light woody notes of pencil shavings, a hint of tart lingonberry and a touch of blood.

    A nice, fresh and balanced effort, but truth be told - this tasted more like Chinon than an Aglianico blend. The wine has a conspicuous streak of vegetal bell pepper character, which I enjoy, but which I've never had in a Campanian red before. Furthermore, the wine lacks the firm tannic grip one expects from Aglianico. The wine certainly has its fair share of tannins, but they are so ripe and polished they mainly contribute to the chewy texture of the wine, not to the structure. Overall this wine was enjoyable in a way a solid Cabernet Franc from Loire can be, but it really didn't seem to show any real sense of place.
    (91 pts.)


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  • 2006 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 12 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,1 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 24,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Almost fully opaque and very slightly hazy pomegranate color. Big, ripe and meaty nose with somewhat developed aromas of wizened black cherries, some brambly black raspberries, a little bit of tobacco, light sweet notes of dried figs, a woody hint of pencil shavings and a vegetal touch of autumnal leaves. The wine is dense, medium-bodied and quite concentrated on the plate with dry flavors of sour cherries and tart lingonberries, some sweeter notes of wizened black cherries, a little bit of tobacco, light notes of bloody meat, a hint of peppery spice and a touch of forest floor. The structure relies more on the fresh, high acidity than on the ample but quite soft, ripe and powdery tannins. The finish is dry, gently grippy and very long with intense, savory flavors of sour cherries, crunchy cranberries, some wizened cherries, a little bit of tobacco, an autumnal hint of forest floor and a touch of crushed red peppercorns.

    Definitely among the more impressive vintages of Terra di Lavoro - and it's really not a surprise, since 2006 was such a great vintage almost everywhere in Italy. The wine has evolved enough to lose the glossy, modern feel these Galardi wines seem to exhibit in their youth, but I still don't get much Campanian feel from this wine. Instead of tasting like an Aglianico blend, this tastes more like a Right-Bank Bordeaux at 15 years of age. Nothing bad there, but I still wouldn't consider this to be representative of the variety or origin. A very good and enjoyable wine all the same. Drinking really well right now and will keep good, if not develop further, for many years more. Recommended.
    (93 pts.)


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  • 2005 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 11 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,35 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 27,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Almost fully opaque and very slightly hazy pomegranate color with a pale ruby rim. Somewhat restrained but also quite complex bouquet with savory aromas of meat, fresh blackcurrants, some wizened dark fruits, a little bit of earthy spice, light vegetal notes of bell pepper, a hint of blueberry and a touch of roasted game. The wine is dense, ripe and very juicy on the palate with full body and intense, savory flavors of black cherries and wild strawberries, some wizened red plums, a little bit of leather, light notes of dried aromatic herbs, a hint of sour cherry bitterness and an animale touch of farmyard funk. Overall the wine is impressively structured with its quite high acidity and ample, moderately grippy tannins. The finish is very long and moderately grippy with richly fruity yet dry flavors of sour cherries, some wizened black cherries, a little bit of leather, light barnyard tones, a hint of tart lingonberry and a touch of savory oak spice.

    An impressive, muscular and quite robust vintage of Terra di Lavoro; in this vertical tasting this was hands-down the most impressive wine of the night. Stylistically, Terra di Lavoro is often too polished, modern and soft for my taste; however, this vintage didn't come across as a modern Bordeaux red, but instead more true to its origins: an Aglianico-driven blend from Campania. The wine is exhibiting some developed characteristics, but it doesn't come across as particularly old or tertiary yet, so I can imagine it will continue to improve for some years more and keep good for much longer. If only all the vintages of Terra di Lavoro would be this impressive, I would understand the hype this wine gets. However, it seems this is a singular vintage that stands head and shoulders taller than the other vintages. A great wine and definitely worth a buy if you ever get to choose between this and any other Terra di Lavoro vintage.
    (94 pts.)


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  • 2004 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 10 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,1 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 22,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Luminous, somewhat translucent and slightly developed black cherry color with subtly brick-orange overtones. Dry and very developed nose with tertiary aromas of gamey meat, oxidative soy sauce, some tobacco, a little bit of smoke, light pruney tones, a hint of dried blackcurrant and a touch of savory wood. The wine is ripe, silky and quite evolved on the palate with savory and rather tertiary flavors of beef jerky, wizened black cherries, some salty notes of soy sauce, light umami notes of bouillon, a hint of ripe blackcurrant and a touch of inky character. Despite its quite developed overall feel, the wine is still impressively structured with its rather high acidity and still pretty firm and moderately grippy tannins. The finish is dry, long and quite tannic with tertiary flavors of sour cherries, some leather, light oxidative notes of soy sauce and beef jerky, a little bit of savory wood spice, a hint of sweet blueberry and a touch of raisiny fruit.

    An enjoyably structured and quite sophisticated Terra di Lavoro with a nicely rough, rustic edge. Unlike the more recent vintages of Terra di Lavoro, this wine retains that good tannic grip typical of Aglianico and what I look for in Campanian reds. However, I was surprised how very evolved the wine felt - I've had +40 yo Italian reds that have felt younger than this bottle. I wonder if this vintage is one that is evolving at a rather fast pace, or if this was just a poorly kept bottle? All in all, a fine, firm and structured Southern red that feels more Campanian and less a wine made by Cotarella. At its peak or perhaps even slightly past it, but still very enjoyable.
    (90 pts.)


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  • 2003 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 9 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13,5% alcohol, 5,3 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 14,500 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Dark, developed and almost fully opaque blackish-red color with a developed mahogany he. Somewhat restrained and rather tertiary nose with aromas of roasted meat, some raisiny tones, a little bit of oxidative soy sauce, light sweetly-fruited notes of dried figs and a hint of plum jam. The wine is full-bodied, ripe and sweet-toned on the palate with a silky texture and developed flavors of raisins, some dried dates, a little bit of meaty umami, light blackcurrant jam tones, a hint of earth and a touch of tobacco. The overall feel is quite balanced with the moderately high acidity and firm, somewhat grippy medium tannins. The finish is rich, textural and moderately grippy with tertiary flavors of raisins, some beef jerky, a little bit of soy sauce, light blackcurrant tones, a hint of prune and a touch of jammy red fruits.

    A very developed and rather pruney Campanian red from the hot vintage of 2003. The wine still manages to retain good structure and some nice sense of balance, but fruit-wise the wine seems to be at the end of its life. There is still some fruit here, but what is left is rather sweet, stewed and raisiny. This is quite enjoyable for what it is, but in this vertical this was some of the least impressive vintages. Feels like it is at the end of its life, so better to drink it sooner rather than later.
    (86 pts.)


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  • 2002 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 8 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,58 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 11,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Quite translucent and obviously very aged syrupy brown appearance. Odd, smoky and very developed nose with aromas of burnt rubber, coffee grounds, some butyric acid notes of Parmesan cheese, light earthy notes of damp leaves and a hint of cheese puffs. The wine is dry, moderately full-bodied and quite old on the palate with tertiary flavors of raisins, some dried dates, a little bit of sour cherry bitterness, light soy sauce tones and a cheesy hint of aged, hard Gouda. The structure relies more on the rather high acidity than on the ample yet soft and mellow tannins. The finish is dry, quite long and very tertiary with developed flavors of raisins, some dates, a little bit of cheese puffs, light notes of ripe black cherry and a meaty hint of game.

    A somewhat odd, weird and not that pleasant vintage of Terra di Lavoro. The overall feel is very aged and - compared to the surrounding vintages in the tasting - already past its peak, but I wondered if this was an off bottle with its weird, funky notes of smoke and butyric acid. However, seeing how many other tasting notes have mentioned smoky tones and stewed fruit characteristics, it appears that this is just how the wine is. Hands down the least pleasant wine in the tasting. If you have an opportunity to select from several different vintages of Terra di Lavoro, this is certainly a vintage to avoid.
    (79 pts.)


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  • 2001 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 7 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13,5% alcohol, 5,2 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 10,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Somewhat developed and slightly translucent blackish-red color with a developed brick-orange hue. Musty, old and somewhat mouldy nose of tertiary fruit and TCA. The wine is ripe, sweet-toned and somewhat raisiny on the palate with a rather obvious streak of TCA emerging underneath the fruit. Moderately high in acidity with ample yet rather soft, resolved tannins. The finish is musty with an earthy, corked taste.

    Quite badly corked.
    NR (flawed)


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  • 2000 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 6 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,09 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production approximately 7,500 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Developed and slightly hazy raspberry red color that permits some light to shine through. Ripe, vibrant and nuanced nose with quite intense aromas of redcurrants, sour cherries, some developed notes of dried dates and a little bit of sweet smoke, light earthy tones, a hint of raspberry jam and a herbaceous touch of leafy greenness. The wine is dense, concentrated and full-bodied on the palate with flavors of ripe blackcurrants, some wizened redcurrants, light pruney tones, a little bit of leather, light tart notes of red plums, a hint of sour cherry bitterness and a touch of earthy smoke. The structure relies more on the quite high acidity than on the quite ripe and resolved tannins that contribute more to the texture than to the structure. The finish is quite long with ripe, concentrated flavors of fresh red plums, cooked strawberries, some brambly raspberries, light earthy tones, a hint of wizened redcurrants and a touch of sour cherry bitterness. The tannins lends a very gentle grip to the aftertaste.

    A silky, ripe and polished Campanian red caught at the very middle of its drinking window. It has integrated most if not all the oak flavors with the fruit and shows quite a bit of developed tones without having lost the youthful edge of its fruit. The overall feel is very ripe, but not overtly so, and while the tannins really don't back the fruit up that well, the acidity does its best to keep wine wonderfully in balance. Most likely the wine won't develop anywhere from here but down, so better to drink now or relatively soon.
    (91 pts.)


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  • 1999 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 5 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,1 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production 5,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Moderately translucent and slightly hazy raspberry red with a developed brick-orange hue and a pale rim. Developed, savory nose with aromas of gamey meat, leather, cherry marmalade, some herbaceous notes of bell pepper, light smoky notes of gunpowder, a little bit of rustic barnyard and autumnal leaves, oxidative hints of beef jerky and a lifted touch of balsamic VA. The wine is ripe, full-bodied and quite savory on the palate with dry flavors of gamey meat, wizened cranberries, some sanguine notes of iron and bloody meat, light leathery tones, a little bit of sour cherry bitterness, a hint of dried dates and a fresh touch of brambly black raspberry. The wine is somewhat high in acidity with gentle, fully resolved tannins that contribute to the chewy texture, but otherwise feel very smooth and silky. The finish is dry, long and developed with savory flavors of leather, dried red cherries, some sanguine tones, a little bit of raspberry jam, light pruney tones, a hint of earth and a touch of stony minerality.

    A beautifully developed, complex and savory vintage of Terra di Lavoro that felt remarkably similar to the vintage 2000 that was tasted alongside this wine - only this one felt slightly less ripe and thus slightly drier in taste. All in all, this is in a great phase right now, smack in the middle of its drinking window. Seeing how the wine is getting somewhat tertiary, I doubt this will benefit from any further aging. Drink now or soon. Recommended.
    (92 pts.)


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  • 1998 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 8 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,8 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production 3,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Pale, translucent and noticeably developed brick-orange color with an almost colorless rim. Somewhat restrained - even slightly closed - nose with sweet-toned aromas of cherry marmalade, some balsamic VA, light vegetal notes of cooked bell pepper, a hint of bouillon and a chemical touch of hot glue. The wine is medium-to-moderately full-bodied on the palate with developed, dry flavors of cranberries, cooked bell pepper, some crunchy redcurrants, light gamey notes of meat, light sweet nuanced of black cherries, a hint of exotic spice and a rich, tertiary hint of prunes. The wine is wonderfully bright with fresh, high acidity, whereas the tannins feel soft, mellow and fully resolved. The finish is quite long with very gently grippy tannins and developed flavors of ripe cranberries, sour cherry bitterness, some wild strawberries, light pruney tones, a hint of leather and a sweet'n'sour touch of lingonberry jam.

    A still fresh but slightly underwhelming vintage of Terra di Lavoro at its plateau of maturity or perhaps slightly past it. The wine is wonderfully high in acidity - perhaps showing the highest acidity of all the vintages we tasted - but otherwise coming across as less impressive than the preceding vintages. The nose is very reticent and offers rather little of anything and while the oak seems to have been integrated fully with the fruit, the overall feel lacks the complexity and intensity of the better vintages. All in all, this is an enjoyable and balanced Campanian red with some age, but lacks the depth and finesse of the best vintages.
    (89 pts.)


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  • 1997 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro - Italy, Campania, Roccamonfina IGT (3.2.2020)
    The fourth vintage ever of Terra di Lavoro, still labeled as Vino Rosso da Tavola. A blend of Aglianico (80%) and Piedirosso (20%) from vineyards averaging 7 years. Macerated with the skins for 20 days in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months in new Alliers and Nevers oak barriques. 13% alcohol, 5,2 g/l acidity and pH 3,7. Total production 5,000 bottles. Tasted in a Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997 vertical.

    Still surprisingly dark, almost fully opaque blackish-red with a brick-orange hue. Ridiculously mushroomy nose with a most distinctive streak of fried champignons along with developed aromas of damp autumnal leaves, some redcurrant, a little bit of brambly black raspberry, light peppery tones, tertiary hints of smoke, gamey meat and beef jerky and a touch of pruney dark fruits. The wine is dry, spicy and rather tertiary on the palate with quite full body, silky texture and nuanced flavors of bloody game, fried champignon mushrooms, some salt-cured beef, a little bit of damp leaves, light sweet notes of wizened black cherries and prunes, an oxidative hint of soy sauce and a touch of sour cherry bitterness. The overall feel is medium-to-moderately high in acidity with soft, fully resolved tannins. The finish is soft and tertiary with flavors of salt-cured beef, sour cherries, some ripe cranberries, a little bit of vegetal leafy character, light oxidative notes of soy sauce and beef jerky and a hint of prunes.

    A sophisticated, fully developed and rather tertiary vintage of Terra di Lavoro that is at its peak of maturity and yet to start slipping downhill. I must point out, though, that the nose here is probably the most mushroomy thing I've ever smelled in wine - and I've had some very mushroomy Alsatian Pinot Gris wines! It really smells like my kitchen when I'm frying mushrooms. All in all, this is still pretty enjoyable and thoroughly drinkable, but bar that distinctive mushroomy note, this really didn't offer anything that the better vintages did. Good, but nothing truly sublime. Probably better drunk sooner rather than later.
    (90 pts.)
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Karl K
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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#2 Post by Karl K » April 11th, 2020, 4:38 am

[thankyou.gif]

Thanks for the write up
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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#3 Post by Markus S » April 11th, 2020, 4:56 am

Well, that's too bad. The couple that I have had made me think nothing of Bordeaux but I can see the modern aspect, but the tannins are very grippy like you would expect aglianico to be.
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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#4 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 11th, 2020, 8:16 am

Markus S wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 4:56 am
Well, that's too bad. The couple that I have had made me think nothing of Bordeaux but I can see the modern aspect, but the tannins are very grippy like you would expect aglianico to be.
What vintages have you had? Any same ones from this vertical?

I was expecting the wines to be noticeably tannic, but even those few tannic ones weren't more tannic than an average Barolo or Brunello; the rest were noticeably less so. In this tasting many people commented how the wines didn't feel particularly "Aglianico" to them either.

For the Bordeaux thing, it was mainly the very Cabernet-ish streak of cassis many (especially younger vintages) showed that made me think more of Bordeaux blends than anything particularly Italian. However, the overall style with the rather polished, modern character and rather heavy emphasis on new oak contributed to the impression as well.

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#5 Post by Markus S » April 11th, 2020, 9:07 am

I think it was the 05 & 07.

Do you normally drink aglianico? With age the tannins smooth out some, but they are always there, like a tiger in wait. I can't ever say I've had one that didn't show some tannin, except perhaps Mastroberardino's 1968 Riserva which was smooth as ice (but that 40 years of age will do!). If you want strong tannins, try Salvatore Molettieri Vigna Cinque Querce or Basilisco, always there.
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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#6 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 11th, 2020, 9:16 am

Markus S wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 9:07 am
I think it was the 05 & 07.

Do you normally drink aglianico? With age the tannins smooth out some, but they are always there, like a tiger in wait. I can't ever say I've had one that didn't show some tannin, except perhaps Mastroberardino's 1968 Riserva which was smooth as ice (but that 40 years of age will do!). If you want strong tannins, try Salvatore Molettieri Vigna Cinque Querce or Basilisco, always there.
Didn't have the 2007, but if you read my notes, 2005 was one of the few that showed quite a bit of tannins and was still rather grippy and youthful in style - also my wine of the night in this tasting. Definitely more impressive than the rest, although the 2006 was a close contender.

I've drunk quite a bit of Aglianico and noticed that with the wines made in a heavily tannic style (i.e. quite often), the tannins resolve very slowly and surprisingly little. The 1970 Mastroberardino Radici that I tasted blind was still ridiculously tannic (the most tannic wine in that tasting) and my guess was a wine twice younger. 1980 Mastroberardino Radici Riserva was somewhat more resolved, but still more tannic than any of these Terra di Lavoro wines; 1981 Radici Riserva, on the other hand, was more tannic than either one of these aforementioned wines.

While Feudi di San Gregorio's 1997 Serpico was at more or less equal level in the terms of tannic grip with Terre di Lavoro, 1997 Taurasi Selve di Luoti was still immensely grippy and showing no signs of resolution.

And many more younger Aglianicos I've had have been even more tannic. I've had Salvatore Molettieri's Renonno which was quite tannic, but still far from the most tannic vintages. However, that might've something to do with the vintage. I really didn't like the rather oaky style, though.

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#7 Post by Cris Whetstone » April 11th, 2020, 9:42 am

I sort of have the same overall impression you seem to on the Lavaro vs the field for Campania. I bought some when I newer to wine and drank those over the last few years. Definitely more modern leaning style. I had the 2004-2006. The 2006 I drank 6 months ago was my favorite. The '05 I drank in '17 clearly still needed some time. The '04 was way over-inflated.

But I'll stick to a more classic style. These Lavaros are clearly more extracted that I really want.
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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#8 Post by Bob Hughes » April 11th, 2020, 9:57 am

Thanks for the very interesting comments, Otto. For better or worse, I have both the 2010 and 2011 in the cellar - and if my palate reacts to those wines the way yours did, I'm going to hate them pileon

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#9 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 11th, 2020, 10:14 am

Bob Hughes wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 9:57 am
Thanks for the very interesting comments, Otto. For better or worse, I have both the 2010 and 2011 in the cellar - and if my palate reacts to those wines the way yours did, I'm going to hate them pileon
Thanks and sorry to spoil the party!

Seeing how those wines evolve, I think the only way to go from here is to just be patient let them have some more age. The beef I had with the younger wines was their rather noticeable oak character, but based on how the older wines didn't seem to show much obtrusive oak character anymore and how Galardi's heavy-handed oak aging regime seems to have remained unchanged from the start, it seems that the oak starts to disappear and integrate with the fruit at the age of ~15 years. It probably won't make the wine magically great, but at least it takes the oakiest edge away and makes them more interesting that way, hopefully.

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#10 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 11th, 2020, 12:55 pm

Otto,

what is a Campanian feel to a wine? Thanks for answering.

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#11 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 11th, 2020, 1:18 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 12:55 pm
Otto,

what is a Campanian feel to a wine? Thanks for answering.
When it comes to Aglianico, it's the sense of place. Something that would be structured like a Nebbiolo, flavor-wise more like a Sangiovese, but more brooding and darker-toned. Preferably some pronounced mineral undertones from the volcanic soils.

When you are drinking a Campanian Aglianico-based blend yet immediately think of Cabernet or something more Bordelais, you certainly are lacking some obvious Campanian feel in your wine. I've also had some Californian Aglianico and while I'd argue it showed more varietal character than Terra di Lavoro, it certainly had more Californian than Campanian feel to it.

Of course you can substitute "Campanian" to "Southern-Italian" or even just "Italian", but since Aglianico and Aglianico-based blends are mostly associated with Campania, I preferred to use "Campanian feel" as a shorthand for the stylistic characteristics that describe best a classically built Aglianico. The term certainly applies to, say, the wines of Aglianico del Vulture as well, even though they are not Campanian.

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Re: TN: Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2011-1997

#12 Post by Karl K » April 11th, 2020, 6:38 pm

Campanian feel is Otto’s term but my expectations for wines of place from that region when it comes to Aglianico based wines are ones which emphasize that dark tone Otto references - black raspberry, asphalt, black licorice - and then a good mineral core and tannins which seem to grow upward from a deep spot to make a grand statement.
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