Thank You Young Grasshopper
I am not one of those stuck up Somms who think that a customer buying $10 wines can’t possibly make recommendations to ME!! After all , Bryce started out drinking Sugar with his partner Lois and he occasionally returns wines that he thinks are corked or faulty and are perfect. Why should I listen to him? This young grasshopper has expanded his palate with my assistance and my partner Jennifer’s help from Syrup to some serious wines from all over the world especially from Italy, France and Spain. He is developing a palate.
Even though I am very familiar with the winery and products of Tenuta Cavalier Pepe in Campania as seen above in 2013 and their wines and family, doesn’t mean I can open up every bottle every time there is a vintage change to taste. Bryce started buying the Irpinia Aglianico several months ago but on his last 2 or 3 visits he kept saying how impressed and unique the 2014 of this wine was. It intrigued me and I the teacher became the student and purchased a bottle based on his recommendation to see what we have.
Tenuta Di Pepe
Milena Pepe, born and raised in Belgium, after completing her studies in company management, continued her studies in Wine Marketing and in Viticulture and Oenology. In 2005 she returned to her homeland: Irpinia, crowning the dream of Papa Angelo, to manage the family vineyards. Today, Milena leads with charisma and expertise one of the most important wineries in the area, established in Campania, throughout Italy and abroad.
Legend has it that in the land of Irpinia the Greeks decided to plant the Aglianico vine, called at the time “Vitis Hellenica”. Its maturation is late, with harvests that last from mid-October to mid-November. Campania is the home to the First D.O.C.G. of Southern Italy in Taurasi. The Irpinia Aglianico is A D.O.C. offers a great value compared to the pricing of Taurasi.
2014 Tenuta di Pepe
The vineyards located in the municipalities of Luogosano, Sant’Angelo all’Esca and Taurasi. The soil is unique which is one thing I love about this southern region. Calcareous clay with the presence of VOLCANIC elements from Mt Vesuvius. This is 85% Aglianico and the addition of 15% Merlot. As I have said on previous reviews, I AM STARTING TO HATE OAK! It is too much of a manipulation of the juice. I want to taste the wine not the elements that the OAK adds to it but then I digress. This wine is aged for 2 years in CEMENT VATS (No Flavors) and then 6 more months in the bottles. All grapes are picked by hand. Let’s see if my customer Bryce was right about this vintage?
I must have tasted at least 5 vintages of this wine but you never know when a customer refers you to a specific vintage of a wine they keep buying I was expecting something unique….. and I got it!!!. Color is Dark Ruby/Garnet in the glass with shades of lighter purple on the edges from the age. 13.5% ABV.
On the nose is where BRYCE was RIGHT….(NO PUN INTENDED THE BRYCE IS RIGHT LOL) The first aromas I picked up were that of a fresh bag of dark roasted coffee and cocoa powder. It was sort of a bitter chocolate espresso bean that other vintages didn’t have. Fruit bouquet of Bitter Cherry, Blackberry and White Pepper was unique as well. On the palate a nice medium plus body and juicy mouthfeel of Black Raspberry, Plums, Forest Berries, Soft Yet Grippy Tannins ending with notes of Tart Sour Cherry And Sweet Spices. Cured Meats, Aged Cheeses (I had Cave Aged Gruyere) Pasta with Tomato Based Sauces And Pizza would all be a good match. It was totally unique and glad I took the advice of my loyal customer and tried it. Is it the best example of Aglianico I have ever tasted….NO but a solid 88 Points out of 100 from me.
After recommending wines to 50 people per day or more, it was kind of nice to have a customer I see regularly make a recommendation to me. The Coffee and Bitter Chocolate on the nose won me over immediately as this was a 2014 unique profile. The wine drank very easy and is very versatile for so many dishes or even by itself. It is a definite buy for $11.99. Thanks Bryce. Anyone else up to the challenge of making recommendations to me..bring them on. I know I have job security cause there is only 1 Larry The Wine Guy
Grape-fully yours, Larry