MCF Rare Wine
New Vintages from Tecce
The one and only, the wizard of Paternopoli, the man himself was briefly here in NYC earlier this week.
I was lucky enough to attend a dinner in his honor at Roscioli on Tuesday evening, to showcase both the newest round of wines below, and to revisit a few recent vintages, as well.
Seeing Luigi away from his tiny winery and in the big city was a great pleasure, especially with an audience to entertain - something he certainly made the most of.
Hearing the adulation for his wines from everyone in attendance, I couldn't help but feel happy for Luigi, as it's clear, now more than ever, that his wines are reaching a level of appreciation that any small, artisan producer could hope for.
And like any great winemaker, it's also clear that, with every passing vintage, his touch is only getting better.
After two monumental releases in the 2015 and 2016 vintages, these new 2018 reds, from what was a slightly more challenging year, represent even further levels of refinement.
Someone asked Luigi about the challenges of different years and the changing climate, and he simply replied that he doesn't worry about such things, because it's his job, as the steward of each vintage, to express what each year had to offer in the best possible way, rather than to mask what some may have viewed as any shortcomings with technical prowess.
If you need any convincing that this is the very best possible way for any winemaker to operate, you only need taste his fabulous 2018s.
We'll start, though, with the 2020 Rosso Satyricon, Luigi's 'wine for the enjoyment of everyone', as he puts it. This, in its own right, is a wine worthy of praise, with its dark structure and herbaceous, stony depth. It's almost hard to call it an 'entry level' wine, but that is what it is. You can age it for a decade, easy, though.
As usual, the Rosso Puro Sangue 2018, from a clay-packed single vineyard, offers a broader, more generous expression of the smoky, mineral-packed, volcanic character. The 2018-ness making itself known through the sheer focus and fragrant/briny elements the pervade it.
The Rosso Poliphemo 2018 is, as usual, the more focused, fiercely structured and animale of the two - thanks to the sandy soils where its vines sit. Again, though, the refined, transparent, aromatic character of the 2018 vintage makes for a fabulously drinkable wine in its young age.
Like always, though, you're looking at wines that will probably outlive many of us, so there's absolutely no rush here.
Then we have the second vintage of his Rosato, this time called Calipso 2020. Where the previous Rosato Cyclope was about as intensely structured (almost severe) as a rosé can possibly get, here we have a deeper, broader, softer expression of pink Aglianico, but with tremendous depth, and a sublime, oily texture. The mineral/savory nuance seems like it would go on forever, if you weren't in such a rush to take your next sip. This is easily on par with the Lopez or Simones of the rosé world, yet as singular a wine as you'll encounter.
Finally, we have a very limited, one-off bottling that's made of Aglianico and Coda di Volpe Rosso (yes, that grape exists), the Rosso Diavolo Pazzo 2021, something he made just 666 bottles of, specially for his friend Caposella's local music festival. It's an extremely special wine that has a beautifully lifted, highly aromatic personality and a sense of elegance that's hard to put into words. I can't wait to see how it turns out over the next decade or so.
I was sitting next to Ernest, Luigi's importer, and he asked Luigi if he ever planned to make the Diavolo again.
'No,' was his simple answer.
It's not cheap, but it'll be a piece of this legend-in-his-own-time's history.
Also, I should note that, like many visionary winemakers of the past, Luigi decided to leave the politics and frustration of the DOCG behind him, and ceased labeling his wines as Taurasi. Nothing else has changed, though.
Campania Rosato Calipso 2021
Campania Rosso Satyricon 2021
Campania Rosso Puro Sangue 2018
Campania Rosso Poliphemo Vecchie Vigne 2018
Campania Rosso Diavolo Pazzo 2021
You may order by calling 212.255.8870.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011
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