MCF Rare Wine

The Best $15 You Can Spend Right Now
I offered today's wine in a 'mixed case' newsletter a few months ago (as I've done a few times), but I've had it quite a few times recently, and have been so happy (and so have many of you), that I thought I needed to give it the undivided attention it absolutely deserves.  

So, I talk a lot about this grape called Aglianico and about how it's one of the last remaining noble red varieties that is still largely unappreciated.  

I've gone on at length about the character, longevity, typicity and sheer uniqueness of Aglianico and its forgotten place in history.

(And 'history' is very important here, this is one of the world's oldest wine grapes.)

Yes, there were my rants about Luigi Tecce being 'the most important winemaker you've never heard of', about which I am feeling at least slightly vindicated given John Gilman's recent gushing post about Taurasi and Tecce.

(If you didn't buy any Tecce, but that post makes you want to, let me know as there is a little bit left!)

But at the other end of the spectrum in terms of both price and ambition, lies today's wine, Musto Carmelitano's Maschitano 2014, which is as perfectly humble a $15 bottle as you'll encounter, but one that, for next-to-nothing on the price scale, is utterly packed with delicious, engaging varietal character and a good decade (at least) of development built into it.

From Mount Vulture in the region of Bascilicata, (the arch of the boot, if you will) this is the best, most varietally expressive and most firmly stuffed inexpensive Aglianico on the market - by a longshot (and there are some really nice ones out there).

Hell, in terms of what it delivers, this might be the best $15 wine on the market.

It's dark, very firmly structured (especially for a red that spends no time in barrel), intensely mineral, smoky, spicy and yet somehow quite friendly.

It delivers old-school Aglianico character by the truck load.

And, yes, I really believe that you have an easy decade you can put on this one...and probably more.

This is the wine to grab by the box (just $162 for a case with the discount!) and sock away in your cellar, secure in the knowledge that you are a wine-purchasing genius who eschews the herd and all of its social-media herdiness...

In all seriousness, though, don't buy it for ego (yours or mine) it because it's so damned good.

My two neighborhood spots for pizza Napolitano are the well-known Kesté and very underappreciated Pizzetteria Brunetti.  Each one has a signature pizza that are favorites in our house - Brunetti, their 'Spezie' (Burrata, Rabe, Hot Sausage, Calabrian Pepper puree) and Kesté, their 'Pistacchio & Salsiccia' (a sublime combo of fennel Sausage, Mozz and Pistachio Pesto).

Diving into either one of them (or, let's face it, any great pie) with a bottle of this is, for me, an utterly religious experience...

...when humble food and humble drink combine to deliver the ineffable beauty of life.

(Just thinking about it makes me let out a sigh of pure satisfaction.)

The best things in life are apparently..$15...

Matt Franco
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10014