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Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2008

Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2008

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"Galardi's 2008 Terra di Lavoro is a legend in the making. It is a fabulously ripe, rich and seductive wine endowed with beautifully articulated dark plums, ash, leather, licorice, all of which meld together in an explosive, utterly thrilling display of class and elegance. Clean, mineral notes frame the eternal finish. Today the 2008 is impossibly young and the wine will require considerable patience, but its class, pedigree and potential are all first-rate. Simply put, the 2008 is a monumental Terra di Lavoro. Drinking window: 2018-2038. 97+ points.

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."

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/10)