Grapelive: Wine of the Day January 18, 2017

2008IFavatiTaurasi2008 I Favati, Taurasi “Terzotratto” Campania, Italy.
When they talk of Aglianico being the Barolo of the south, this is what they mean, a picture perfect example and a gorgeous, complex and authentic wine from Giancarlo Favati, of I Favati, who I got to meet briefly this week, and taste through his wines. It was a pleasure to meet Giancarlo and his wife and marketing director Rosanna, while they are on a visit to San Francisco, their winemaker Carmine Valentino, who wasn’t on this trip, must also be mentioned and praised here, as his efforts are truly glorious and capture the soul and essence of this volcanic influenced terroir. Most of their vines cling to the hillsides of Cesinale in the Irpinia zone of the Campania region, but they have a small plot in Taurasi, the DOCG Taurasi has only been in production since 2003, it is a work in progress, and it is aged 4 years before release, I found their 2008 Terzotratto Taurasi DOCG very much to my liking with it’s intense layers of fruit, earth, spice, mineral and game all coming together nicely, at this stage it’s a stunner. The other wines that impressed were their mineral driven whites, especially the vibrant Greco di Tufo and smoky/flinty Fiano di Avellino, as well as an extended skin contact Fiano di Avellino “Pietramara” white label 2011, very impressive stuff, along with their currant release Aglianico, the 2010 Irpinia Campi Taurasini “Cretarossa” which is a wonderful wine and a great value at $26. The 2008 I Favati Taurasi Terzotratto, aged in small French barrels is rich and dense with velvet coated tannic structure showing a deep garnet color and a lovely mix of dried flowers, iron/chalk, kirsch and anise to start before an unfolding firm palate of poached cherry, tangy plum and dusty red berry fruits along with sweet tobacco leaf, game/blood (meaty notes) and minty saline, crushed stone and a hint of cedar. This full bodied Aglianico is pure, focused and detailed wine, balancing ripe fruit with the more earthy/savory elements to perfection, while I enjoyed and admired all of the I Favati reds, this one, the 2008, really stole my heart and attention, the 2004 had a wild Rioja Gran Reserva character from the use of some new American oak, while the 2007 had a beautiful silky texture it leaned toward the stewed fruit side of things, so for my taste, the 2008 was the best example of terroir and vitality, this though is a winery to check out, they offer an intriguing lineup of wines, imported by Vinity Wine Company. This beautiful Terzotratto Taurasi 2008 is drinking fantastic, and it is looking at a long life ahead, drink now through 2026.
($52 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive