The 1990 version of this wine was my first favorite wine (that is, about the time I began to sample reds critically, back in about 1994). The 1994 vintage is the most recent I've seen on the shelves.

It's an interesting blend (85% Negroamaro, 15% Malvasia nera) of two relatively unknown grapes, and the Cosimo Taurino vineyards are in Puglia in southern Italy--far from the center of the country's wine industry. These factors give the wine a kind of exotic feel which continues with the taste.

The wine is a deep but brilliant red; light-tasting, but more substantial than, say, a random Tuscan wine. While it is barrel-aged, the wood has not imparted a great deal of oakiness to the wine. I've heard it described as an "earthy" wine, and that is a good descriptor. Strange as it may sound, I think this wine would go great with a cheesburger at your next barbecue. The 1994 vintage is good, but unfortunately not nearly as good as the 1990 I cut my teeth on. You may still be able to find the 1990 on some shelves (I saw it as recently as a year ago), but on last taste I felt it had passed its prime.

I may still buy a few of the 1994 to see how it ages, and I will definitely buy the next vintage as soon as it's available.

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