An Aged Greco With That?
I know that we live in a cash and carry world. We have come to expect all that we want and when we want it. In an attempt to satiate our communal yearning for immediate gratification, the wine industry has shifted to more ‘from the barrel approach,’ using over-ripe grapes and other vinification techniques to speed up maturation. Fine. Maybe they will think of something to speed up the ‘diaper’ time of babies (perhaps hypnosis).
But to the patient goes the prize. I have often trumpeted the fun and payoff of cellaring a few bottles. As they age, youthful vigour is often replaced with aromatic depth and a mellowed complexity. It is the best way to get to know a wine. I have been sitting on this bottle for a couple of years now, waiting for the right moment when upon picking it up from beneath a clutter of half dusty bottles, it felt like its time.
Greco di Tufo 2001, Mastroberardino ($24…saq..2003 now available)
One of the more ancient grapes of the Avellino region of Campania, the Greco was originally planted by the Greeks on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius. Greco is by nature a grape which produces a relatively full bodied white, slightly floral with hints of grilled almonds. The last time I drank this bottle (2003), I had found the acidity took away from the finish. But two years later the story is much different.
What was a light straw color was replaced by a brilliant sunshine, tinged with gold. Slightly oxidative notes had replaced some of the acidity which worked much nicer with the long, slightly bitter almond and apricot stone finish. Its richness was on the level of a good Macon, but much more complex aromatically and with a good deal more happening in the mouth. It would be perfect with any grilled fish or perhaps a seafood fettucine dosed with some stronger Italian cheese.