The Campania region is one that we don’t often place in the spotlight here at Xtrawine. That’s not because the region doesn’t produce quality wines, as you’re about to discover in this review.
It’s just that with so many regions producing wonderful Italian wines, it’s often easy for the more prominent to overshadow the smaller ones.
That’s something that we aim to remedy with this article.
We’ve decided that we’re going to explore the Campania region for the next wine that we’ll review. And we believe that we found the perfect choice for anybody who wants to try an Italian red that’s a little different to their usual choices.
But we’ll get to the wine itself in a moment.
First, we’re going to take a look at the Mastroberardino family, which is the group behind the wine. And interestingly, it’s a group that has a far deeper wine heritage than you might expect…
For the Mastroberardino family, Italian wine has been a part of their genetic makeup for well over 200 years at this point. That’s according to the family itself, which has painstakingly pored over family records to find the origins of its own history in the industry.
The first traces of the family’s work in its native Campania are found in a document called the Bourbon Land Registry. That document says that it was in the 18th century that the family moved to Atripalda, which is a charming village that has since become the company’s headquarters. It is in this village that the family first started its relationship with the magical vine. And it’s the ancient cellars of the vineyard that the family bought that the Mastroberardino family began making some magic of its own.
The family says that this was the period in which they were indoctrinated into the cult of wine. While this statement may seem to have some sinister overtones, we also completely understand where they’re coming from. For many wine producers, the vine becomes an obsession over time. With every new thing that you learn, you develop a hunger to learn even more. It is this hunger that inspired the family to deepen its pursuit.
And it is this hunger that gave us the foundation of the company that we know today.
Fast-forward ten generations and we now have a wine company that has seen and done it all. Always kept in the family, Mastroberardino has seen both good times and bad. It’s established a stellar reputation over the decades while also weathering every storm that Italian wine has faced. And through it all, they’ve come back stronger, producing wines with such amazing character.
For the Mastroberardino, safeguarding the native wine traditions has always been a priority. It’s location in Irpinia allows it to straddle three DOCG territories:
- Greco di Tufo
- Fiano di Avellino
By the way, it’s the latter of these that today’s wine comes from!
No matter where the family works, it’s dedicated to preserving the delicate balance of the vine in that region. Mastroberardino is a company that values tradition and its own history deeply and this love of the Italian wine industry seeps out of every bottle that the company produces.
This isn’t to say that Mastroberardino isn’t capable of innovation. In fact, the company prides itself on its ability to take the traditional and apply a modern spin on it. Mastroberardino leverages some of the most advanced technologies that the modern wine industry has to offer. But at the same time, it does so without losing sight of the traditions on which the company was built. With over 200 years of history, those traditions run deep and are respected at all times.
Perhaps the most startling thing about the Mastroberardino family is that they practically hel/d the fort for the Irpinia region right up until the 1990s. For so many years, they were the safekeepers of the history and traditions of the vines grown in that territory. And it is through the family’s tireless work that others have finally grown to both accept and understand the truly wonderful wines that the territory is capable of producing.
Today, the company combines an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge with the respect that it’s earned from years of painstaking research and preservation. And in this review, we’re going to take a look at a wine that we believe represents the pinnacle of these efforts.
Allow us to introduce you to the…
Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi Riserva 2014
Produced for the very first time in 1986, the Radici is perhaps the jewel in the crown of the Mastroberardino family. The wine is the culmination of painstaking research into everything from soil profiles and texture through to the chemical composition of the land from which the vine grows.
Simply put, Mastroberardino put enormous amounts of time into ensuring that this wine was truly representative of the land that they love and call home.
The end result is a strong and aromatic wine that has a complex structure that’s more than worth exploring.
Upon first pour, the 2014 vintage demonstrates a stunning ruby red colouring that tells you that this is an Italian red wine in the throes of maturation. However, we must also note that it’s a wine that’s also capable of ageing for a further 25 years, if you have the patience.
For those who want to dig right into the wine, they’ll be met with a wonderfully varied bouquet. Amongst the prominent cherry notes, you will also detect spices, tobacco, and even some balsamic aromas wafting through the air.
To the taste, you have a wine that’s complex and full bodied. Further exploration reveals more fruity notes, with plum and strawberry jam coming to the surface. But to temper those fruity flavours, you will also detect notes of liquorice and black pepper.
All in all, we have a complex and engaging wine that’s well worth the €30 or so that you will spend on it. It was love at first taste for the Xtrawine team, which is why the wine carries a 96/100 rating from us.