Compelling. Deep. Mysterious. Unique.
These are accolades I would easily bestow upon this majestic wine. Fattoria Galardi, the name that goes almost unrecognized due to the notable nature of the wine itself, has produced Terre di Lavoro only since 1994; but the wine is clearly setting the bar high for the Campania region.
Terra di Lavoro, the "land of labor", is a blend of 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso. This was formerly the traditional blend of Taurasi, before DOCG regulations required Taurasi to be 100% Aglianico. The inclusion of Piedirosso in the wine is key, as the grape brightens the blend, softens Aglianico's tannins, and adds a savory herbal component to the finished wine. It is the Piedirosso that allows early accessability to Terra di Lavoro, but not at the expense of diminishing the complexity or age worthiness of the final wine. Terra di Lavoro is aged in new French barrique for 1 year and then bottled unfined and unfiltered where it rests an additional year before release.
I decanted the wine for 90 minutes. It almost seemed unnecessary as the wine showed remarkable expressiveness upon being opened. The nose is redolent of dark wild berries, savory herbs, smoke, ash, flowers and tar. The proximity of the vineyard to Vesuvius clearly seems to reflect itself in the volcanic soil of Galardi's vineyards. On the palate the wine is seductive, ripe, juicy and filled with perfectly ripened tannins. The acid structure is balanced and refreshing. The core of smokey wild berries mixes with leather, ash, and a finely grained perfume. It's absolutely gorgeous and the finish goes on and on. Served with grilled chicken thighs marinated in pesto, among various contorni, it was really delicious. This will be hard to resist trying again, but I can see this gaining all sorts of additional complexity over the next 10 years. Make space in the cellar. 95 points, about $75.
|~ Maybe the best wine from Campania? Hard to argue ~|