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Galardi did a fabulous job with the 2003 Terra di Lavoro in this torrid, challenging vintage. This is a dark, muscular Terra di Lavoro loaded with imposing dark fruit wrapped around a frame of sheer muscle. The 2003 turns more elegant in the glass as the aromatics reluctantly begin to emerge, but the hard 2003 tannins never fully soften. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2028.Terra di Lavoro, first produced in 1994, has quickly established itself as one of Italy’s cult wines. I tasted all of these vintages with proprietors Arturo and Dora Celentano during their first visit to the US. The Celentanos have a huge passion for food and wine, and that exuberance comes through loud and clear in these fabulous wines. Terra di Lavoro is 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso from vines planted by consulting oenologist Riccardo Cotarella beginning in 1991. The fruit is harvested according to ripeness rather than strictly by variety, which means that Aglianico and Piedirosso are sometimes picked and vinified together. After the alcoholic fermentation, the wines are racked into French oak where they remain on their lees for several months. Cotarella describes Aglianico as a hard grape to take through malolactic fermentation. He therefore believes it is essential for the final blend to be made before the wines go into malo. The final blend is assembled and undergoes what is usually a very slow malo, in steel for 80-90% of the wine, prior to being moved back into oak. There is little question that malolactic fermentation in stainless steel contributes significant freshness and aging potential to this heroic southern Italian wine.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPGalardi did a fabulous job with the 2003 Terra di Lavoro in this torrid, challenging vintage. This is a dark, muscular Terra di Lavoro loaded with imposing dark fruit wrapped around a frame of sheer muscle. The 2003 turns more elegant in the glass as the aromatics reluctantly begin to emerge, but the hard 2003 tannins never fully soften.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG
Very deep and dark, but also fragrant, this glides from dried blueberries, tar, brambleberry essence and cassis to cedar, tobacco and dried nutmeg. The palate is rich and concentrated with a ton of fine-grained tannins and a long, complex, dry finish. Drink in 2023.James Suckling | 95 JSCabernet Sauvignon is not in the blend, but the aromas in the 2016 Terra di Lavoro are very similar to what you would get with that grape, with bright notes of green pepper corn with blackberry and exotic spice. The declared blend is 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso. This is a balanced vintage with lots of depth, precision and density. This is a beautifully made wine. For sure, I am not the first to say that the wine is more characteristic of a house style, a Bordeaux-inspired house style, rather than a territorial expression of Campania. In truth, I’d say that this wine has feet in both those words. I recommend waiting at least five more years before drinking this vintage. Some 30,000 bottles were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPGood full ruby-red. Pretty aromas of fresh raspberry, red cherry and crushed stone and a strong whiff of minty botanical herbs. The vibrant flavors of red fruits, herbs and flint show very good cut and thrust. Not hugely fleshy but boasts very good palate presence and noteworthy refinement. Finishes with polished tannins, outstanding length and perfumed lift. Totally different from the riper 2015 Terra di Lavoro but just as good.Vinous Media | 93 VMThis estate near Campania’s northern border makes just one wine from 25 acres of low-yielding vines planted on the slopes of a dormant volcano. A blend of aglianico softened by 20 percent piedirosso, the 2016 Terra di Lavoro offers flavors of plum and raspberry underscored by a black minerality. Notes of eucalyptus and mint brighten the flavors, and the structure feels lean and taut, bound by rigid tannins. Stow this in the cellar for at least five years.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&S
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