Sunday, October 4, 2009
A Glass of Mastroberardino
I have a proclivity for wines from southern Italy more so than their more famous Northern regions. I think it has something to do with the volcanic soil. Aglianico is king among the southern Italian red varietals though I have had many other pleasant quaffers.
Piediroso may not be a household name unless your house is somewhere near Campania or Apulia. Recently, I had one of Mastroberardino’s entry level reds, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio. I hasten to pigeonhole this wine with the unflattering moniker, but I'm going strictly by price point. Mastroberardino has great depth in his portfolio, nevertheless, as price points go, the Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio is a bargain. It doesn’t have the complexity as say the Taurasi, but then again the Taurasi is predominantly Aglianico. Think of the Lacryma Christi as the introduction to Villa dei Misteri which hails from Pompei and is comprised of 90% Piediroso and 10% Sciascinoso.
Lacryma Christi is made up of 100% Piediroso. The wine is redolent of violets and undergrowth. You see these descriptions all the time and say to yourself “what are kidding me?” but this wine smells like somebody’s garden. It doesn’t carry the whiff of industrial-strength fertilizer or chemicals. It’s pleasantly bitter on the palate enough to know there is a balance between fruit, acidity, and only an insouciance of tannin.
Drink it with fennel-encrusted rack of lamb or fried eggplant.