STILÈMA TAURASI RISERVA DOCG
Massimo Di Renzo
The Mastroberardino family, leaders in Italian viticulture, are largely responsible for the revival and elevation of Irpinian and Campanian winemaking post WWII. Much of this work was initiated by Antonio Mastroberardino, the 9th generation, who’s efforts ignited a resurgence in quality red and white wine production in all of Southern Italy. Working primarily with Campania’s ancient, native varietals, Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico, the family has resuscitated would-be extinct grapes into world class varieties.
Increasingly important to Antonio over the course of his career was to preserve and catalogue the traditional viticulture he fought so hard to revive. To remember a pre-war viticulture in Irpinia, when climate, agriculture and industry were less influential and varietal wines displayed stronger provenance and varietal characterization. To realize this dream, Piero, Antonio’s son, and current owner, commenced the Stilèma project in honor of his father. Stilèma, meaning stylistic choice, interprets a style of winemaking that took place in Irpinia from the late 1950’s through early 1970’s for Aglianico wines and from the 1970’s through 1980’s for Fiano and Greco wines.
In the early 2000s, Piero began a series of planting experiments, using selected clones grown in multiple pre-phylloxera vineyards across Mastroberardino’s estates in Irpinia, as historically done, to ensure nuanced complexity, elegance and finesse. The goal with Stilèma wines is to express the greater Irpinian terroir, rather than specific vineyard sites.
Aglianico vines for the production of Stilèma Taurasi are selected from four different family sites: Pietradefusi (350 meters asl), composed of clayey soils; Montemarano (600 masl), composed of clayey-limestone soils; and Paternopoli (540 masl), composed of medium-textured soils with a good balance between clay, silt and sand; and Mirabella Eclano (400 masl), composed of medium-textured soils with the presence of sandy sandstones and clay. The vines are 20 years old on average. The average planting density is 5,000 plants / ha.WINEMAKING & AGEING
Manual harvest from end of October through the first 10 days of November. Following a short maceration of 7-8 days at low temperatures, the wine is aged for about 24 months in Slavonian oak barrels (50 hl) and French oak barriques (not first passage). Refinement in bottle for 30 months before release.TASTING NOTES
Soft ruby red with delicate reflections and luminous transparency. Complex fruity and floral aromas, in harmony with spicy nuances, featuring cherry, plum, blackberry, caramel, tobacco, vanilla, leather, and cloves. On the palate it is fresh, savory, agile, with a silky tannic texture, providing for a well-balanced, highly drinkable wine.