Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Piccoli Assaggi from Piccoli Producers-Taurasi's Mercati al Borgo

You don’t have to be big to make a big impression…

Sometimes it’s good to be small.

This past weekend, Mercati al Borgo in Taurasi presented a smattering of piccolo wine producers spread throughout Taurasi’s centro storico. Ready to talk about their wines to whoever was willing to listen.

I was. 

I had the time to perform a visual examination of my aglianico…version Taurasi, Taurasi reserve or base. Dark ruby red color

I was able to inhale and enjoy the aromas that an aglianico has to share---spices, red fruits,

Then taste…not gulp down…but really taste the wine. Enjoy the tannins, or not. Enjoy its balance, its smoothness, or maybe not.

But more importantly…take advantage of an opportunity that one does not get every day. Talk with the producer. Express opinions, ideas, and my thoughts about the wines. Ask questions about anything and everything from location of the vineyard to the vinification process.

Have them explain, for example, as Luigi Tecce did.  His harvest date for 2006; 27 November. The incredible amount of rain in August followed by great if not unusually hot weather in September and October that caused him to make that crucial decision. 2007 instead...a very dry year in respect to 2006. His vineyards, with 85 year old vines, are located 500 meters above sea level where the soil is rich in calcium and contains a noticeable quantity of clay and sand. 

Antonio of the first wineries in the town of Taurasi....

Elmi, a young winery who decided to make and bottle their own wines after generations of growing and selling grapes to other producers...

And many, many other stories that I would like to save for future vineyard hopping blogs...

My friends and I had the privilege to try the following wines from the following wineries:

Luigi Tecce- Polpihemo Taurasi DOCG 2006

CMG- Taurasi Riserva DOCG 1999

Elmi – Taurasini DOC and Taurasi DOCG 2006

Cantine Guastaferro- Rosso Dell’Angleo Aglianico IGT 2005

Azienda Agricola Latorella- Taurasi DOCG 2005

Cantine Lonardo- Aglianico DOCG 2005

I walked away that day with an appreciation for the passion, the enthusiasm and the drive that these piccoli producers have. In fact, I don’t consider them as piccolo. I see a grande desire for their territory, their wines, and their story. And that is what it’s all about….

Taurasi will repeat this event in September and October...stay tuned to the blog for the dates...

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