The Rugged Beauty of Taurasi: 2008 Lonardo Taurasi Vigne d'Alto

Posted by Ian McFadden

The Rugged Beauty of Taurasi
2008 Lonardo Taurasi Vigne d'Alto

"To say these are some of the most thrilling wines I have tasted recently from Campania would be a huge understatement...

Taurasi doesn’t get anywhere near the attention the wines deserve." -Antonio Galloni

We've certainly been guilty of overlooking Taurasi, but today we give the region some much deserved love. If there is a bottle to single out, this is the one.

A couple of weeks ago, we tasted through over twenty wines and Lonardo's 2008 Taurasi Vigne d'Alto was one of the unanimous standouts.

Taurasi's Aglianico grape, known as the "Barolo of the south," is held in very high regard. It is without a doubt southern Italy's noble grape. If we haven't focused more on Taurasi and Aglianico, it's largely because so few bottles deliver on the grape's promise. The 2008 Vigne d'Alto did in a very big way.

Anyone who gets obsessed with Italian wine eventually hears about Mastroberardino's legendary triumvirate of 1968 Taurasi. If you've been lucky enough to taste any of them, the heights that the grape can reach is clear. The '68 Mastroberardino are still amazing today.

Aglianico has the tannins, the acidity and the complexity to age beautifully. There's rugged nobility that emerges from the best examples as they age. The sad fact is that it's very hard to find an honest, traditionally made Taurasi that really delivers. Often, it seems that modern winemaking reigns and - for us - this robs Taurasi of some of its soul and rustic beauty.

Lonardo has long been one of the places we've turned to for real deal Taurasi. The 2008 Vigne d'Alto stood out to us as something special. Vigne d'Alto is a single vineyard on volcanic soils. In the cool and restrained 2008 vintage, Vigne d'Alto's mineral element is emphatically present. There's a wild complexity here: scorched earth, herbs, leather and dark cherry fruits. The Vigne d'Alto hits a very nice balance between a savage intensity and the proper amount of polish.

I'm really excited to see how this ages. It seems to have all the components to age amazingly well. The older Lonardo Taurasi that I've tasted, especially an '01, have been very impressive. Their traditional sensibility and the wine's overall harmony really pay off with some aging. We've created special 4-pack pricing so you can bury a few in the cellar for the next 5-10 year+.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare
Crush Wine & Spirits