On Mastroberardino Taurasi and Bollito Misto

When we invited friends for dinner yesterday, we had not realized that it was the day of the Super Bowl. Since it had taken a long time to get this group together, Michele, who was doing the cooking, and Ernie, who was bringing most of the wine, did not want to change the date. Needless to say, everyone showed up.

Krug Champagne

Krug Champagne

We began with a bottle of non vintage Krug Champagne, my favorite. It was big, luscious, and toasty.

The wine theme of the dinner was Taurasi, made from the aglianico grape, from the Azienda Vinicola Michele Mastroberardino located in the town of Atripalda in the province of Avellino in Campania. The first bottle opened was the 1985 Riserva. It had a very low shoulder which made us wonder if it would be good.  Fortunately, it tasted fine, with hints of leather and smoke. The next bottle, a 1977 Riserva was off.  The aroma reminded me of  bad cigar smoke.  The smell would not go away, or so we believed.   It was disappointing because 1977 was a good year and I have had this vintage before and enjoyed it.  I guess we do not drink great wines but rather great bottles.

The Wines at the Dinner

The Wines at the Dinner

 Fortunately, I kept what was left of the bottle. We tried it with dinner tonight and the wine was great. It was not showing its age after being open for 24 hours. All of the off aromas were gone.  My conclusion is that we should have decanted it and given it more time to breath.

  Bollito misto (literally, boiled meats) is a variety of different cuts and meats simmered in broth until tender. It is a specialty of Northern Italy and is at its best in Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna. The broth is served with cooked homemade pasta as a first course.  The meats follow with mostarda–which I love– fruits in a sweet and spicy mustard flavored syrup,  and green sauce (for more on the food go to www.michelescicolone.com).   The bollito misto was a good combination with the wine.
Bollito Misto, Mostarda and Green Sauce

Bollito Misto, Mostarda and Green Sauce

With the meats, we drank the 1973 and 1972 vintages of Taurasi which were both showing very well.  The last bottle was the1971. It was the oldest wine but still had plenty of life. We enjoyed it with cheese, an aged Piave and mild young Pecorino Toscano.
A few months ago I drank the 1969 and 1961 vintages of Taurasi.  Before that, the oldest I had ever drunk was the legendary 1968 which I was lucky to have on a number of occasions.  The 1961 was drinking as good as any of the 1968’s that I have tasted.

1978 Chinon and the 1969 and 1961 Taurasi

1978 Chinon and the 1969 and 1961 Taurasi

I have always been a big fan of the Mastroberardino Taurasi. The 1995 Taurasi “Radici” is a great wine and will last a long time.
Unfortunately starting with the 2001 vintage they have changed their style and the wine has become more modern. It is still a very well made wine but I wish they would have left it alone.



Filed under Italian Red Wine

7 responses to “On Mastroberardino Taurasi and Bollito Misto

  1. Charles:

    I’m another big fan of Mastroberardino’s Taurasi and glad you are as well. It’s always nice to gety an update on the older bottlings- thanks for this post!

    • charlesscicolone

      Thank you Most of them are still drinking very well. Tom Maresca was also at the dinner.
      He is a big fan of their wines.

  2. Charles:

    Tom turned me on to the ’68, which I tasted with Piero Mastrobeardino at VinItaly in 2006. Fabulous wine with plenty of life ahead.

    I think I may have to move to New York, so I can get to one of these dinners!

  3. Dang…! nice….Gawdawg!

  4. I am experiencing Aglianico envy! great post…

  5. What a lovely dinner! Wish we were friends! I, too, am a lover of Taurisi. The Mastroberardinos are good friends, as well. I love to see others appreciating this wine as much as I do.
    Cheers to you!

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