Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

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Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Paul B. » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:44 am

While browsing the upcoming Vintages release, I was stunned - absolutely stunned - to see this wine featured. I have never heard of it until now - the closest wine name to this one that I know well is the Salice Salentino that many of us have raved about. But this? This one is a whole 'nuther animal, apparently. And what's more interesting is that Arpy gave it a decent score (not that I follow scores, but the fact of the score itself is noteworthy). This sounds like a truly admirable, uncompromisingly old-style wine. I'm buying it regardless, but would like to know if any of you have tried it and what your thoughts on it are.

TAURINO 'NOTARPANARO' ROSSO 1999
IGT Salento

Tasting Note: The question mark beside the score of the 1999 Notarpanaro relates to its controversial late harvest Amarone-like notes along with a touch of volatile acidity. Its big, spicy, earthy nose is reminiscent of burning tobacco intermixed with aged beef, ashes, and sweet cheese. Not for everybody, it is an authentic, rustic southern Italian red made in an old style. Drink this fascinating effort over the next 2-3 years. Score - 87?. (Robert Parker Jr., Wine Advocate, June 2004)
Food match: wild game, roast lamb, mature cheeses.
730937 (D) 750 mL $22.95
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby SFJoe » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:53 am

What a revolting tasting note.

I used to drink much older versions of this, and the flavors were very interesting. But the scale of the wine and the rs in those vintages (1990? 1988?) were such that I could never figure out where in a meal to serve the stuff, and the va got me down, so I haven't had one lately.
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:54 am

I am a fan of this area but have not experienced this one!! Wheres Bruce?
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Paul B. » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:08 am

SFJoe wrote:What a revolting tasting note.

Joe, thanks for chiming in! I like to think that the note was perhaps "retro-revolting" (i.e. revolting but in an interesting way). I don't know - I hate the smell of tobacco, so it might be a crappy wine. But I'm too intrigued by it not to give it a try.
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bill Spohn » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:17 pm

The 1988 and 1990 were classic, and I don't think anything since has approached them. I wnet through quite a lot, but haven't bought since as the wine seems to have delcined in subsequent vintages - not as serious.

It isn't necessary to be either disgustingly rustic or at the other extreme elegant to be an interesting wine (unless you are only looking for archetypes).

I commend the Taurino 1988 and 1994 Patriglione as interesting wines in a late harvest style. They work exceedingly well with hard Italian cheeses. I have no experience with more recent vintages.
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Paul B. » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:04 am

Thanks Bill. It's good to know that the wine at least had some sort of status back then. I frankly don't know if I'll like it, but the note just leapt out at me in such a way that I can't help buying some just to see.
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:37 am

Paul, my note on this wine from a couple of years ago.

11October, 2004

1999 Taurino, Notapanaro Puglia, a blend of Negro Amaro and Malvasia Nera. $15 14%
Deep dark purple. Nose is full of jammy, porty, raisiny scents. Tastes are intense dark stewed fruit and dried figs. Hot mid palate, long chalky finish. No where nears as interesting as older Taurino Salice Salentino but from what I've read, this wine should age well.
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:35 am

Paul B. wrote:what's more interesting is that Arpy gave it a decent score (not that I follow scores, but the fact of the score itself is noteworthy). This sounds like a truly admirable, uncompromisingly old-style wine.


Paul, unless you believe that Parker's palate and yours generally coincide (which seems unlikely), I'd be wary of trying a wine based on his tasting notes, even if the descriptors seem to appeal to you. Notarpanaro has a long reputation as Taurino's upscale big brother to Salice Salentino, but even in the old days, much of that big-brotherhood consisted of aggressive oaking. By all accounts, Taurino has moved in the direction of Parkerization in recent years - as have so many of the Southern Italians. I haven't tried the '99 yet, and at the price I probably will. But I wouldn't count on it being a wine that you (or I) would much admire.

For what it's worth, here's my note on the 1997, the most recent vintage I've tried. (The Notarpanaro generally doesn't come out for five years or so after the vintage.)

Taurino 1997 "Notarpanaro" Salento Rosso ($14.99)

Inky dark ruby color, almost opaque. An exotic mix of dark fruit and spice - plums, anise, hints of tarragon and brown spices - in a warm and approachable aroma. Full and ripe, black-fruit and anise flavors follow the nose; lemony acidity and smooth, barely apparent tannins segue into subtle licorice in a long finish. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC; a Leonardo Locascio Selection. (Oct. 16, 2003)
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:13 am

In contrast, here are some earlier Parker notes:

1988 Dr Cosimo Taurino Notarpanaro (90)
Should readers want something rich, thick, and viscous, check out Taurino's 1988 Notarpanaro. It is hard to believe $12 can purchase a wine with this much intensity. This single-vineyard offering exhibits plenty of jammy, black-cherry fruit aromas and flavors intermixed with tobacco, leather, and licorice. It boasts full body, admirable intensity, and a supple, silky smooth, spicy, earthy finish. The wine's power suggests it should drink well for 4-5 years. It is an excellent value.

1990 Dr Cosimo Taurino Notarpanaro (87)
The 1990 Notarpanaro (which tastes like the Italian version of Zinfandel) possesses dry almond-like flavors to go along with the weedy tobacco, licorice, and berry fruit. Spicy, round, and generously-endowed, with a late-harvest, Amarone-like character, it should be drunk over the next several years.
Last edited by Bill Spohn on Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The 01--finally a good vintage

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:53 am

Bill: I often found the Notarpanaro a bit too Amarone-ish for my tastes vs. the Sal Sal, and you're right about most if not all vintages of the past decade or so, but the 01 Sal Sal is back on track and reminiscent of those wonderful vintages you mention, so I suspect the Notarpanaro might be, too.

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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:17 pm

Bill, here's Parker's note on the 1986:

"1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. P90: The 1986 Notarpanaro exhibits high levels of concentration, glycerin, body, and alcohol, with an element of rusticity and tannin. The wine is full-bodied, chewy, thick, and rich. It is a winter-weight wine that is best consumed with a hearty soup, a cassoulet, or a stew. Despite its fullness and richness, it is extremely easy to drink. Consider it Italy's answer to a blockbuster, heavy-weight Châteauneuf du Pape from France, or a California late-harvested Zinfandel, but without any residual sugar. It is such a rich, alcoholic wine that it will have no difficulty holding its fruit and aging well for 10 or more years."

We bought a case of the 1986 and loved the wine; a typical note from the first couple of years I was drinking wine seriously:

9/3/95 Janet liked this wine, especially the taste of cherries. Pretty, clear ruby color, lovely aroma of violets and cherries; cherry taste with some spice and acid, medium mouth feel; 15 to 20 second finish. A lovely wine. 5*.

1/16/96 1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. Excellent red wine; light tannin, short finish, but really good. David and Janet agreed. 5*.

12/4/98 1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. Janet liked this wine, especially the taste of cherries, but found it too acidic. Opened a bit later. Pretty, clear ruby color, lovely aroma of violets and cherries; cherry taste with some spice and acid, medium mouth feel; good finish with fruit and spice notes. 4*.

****

We didn't like the 1988 vintaga as much:

12/15/96 1988 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. P90. Should readers want something rich, thick, and viscous, check out Taurino's 1988 Notarpanaro. It is hard to believe $12 can purchase a wine with this much intensity. This single-vineyard offering exhibits plenty of jammy, black-cherry fruit aromas and flavors intermixed with tobacco, leather, and licorice. It boasts full body, admirable intensity, and a supple, silky smooth, spicy, earthy finish. The wine's power suggests it should drink well for 4-5 years. It is an excellent value. 1996-2001. Clear red color; fruit aroma; strong fruit taste with light tannin; ten second finish; almost as nice as the 1986 vintage. 4*.

***

And, after tasting the 1990 vintage, I gave up on the wine:

1/21/99 Thu 1995 Il Falcone Apulia Italy. According to waiter, a blend of Aruero Nero [query spelling; not in Robinson] and Primitivo, both local Puglia wines. $7.50 per glass. Lunch at I Trulli, East 27th Street, vegetarian risotto. Cuisine is southern Italian, with a strong emphasis on Puglia; excellent wine bar in next door dining room call Entocata [query spelling]. Our waiter knew Italian wines very well; and said he thought Notarpanaro had slipped since the 1990 vintage; 1988 and especially 1986 were excellent. Clear red color; very good fruit aroma with good spice; good fruit taste with hints of chocolate and cherries; medium mouth feel; fairly short, intense finish, good fruit; very good with the risotto; resembled a Zinfandel with less attack. 3*.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Really Rustic Red: '99 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:38 pm

Wow, lots of great notes from some of the older wines. The hunt begins.
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