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Madeirization - flaw or style?

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Madeirization - flaw or style?

Frodnesor | Jan 2, 2008 01:14 PM

Last night I drank a 1999 Taurino "Notarpanaro" Salento Rosso at a restaurant. Didn't know much about it, just knew that it was priced right, and that I was curious to try something different.

The wine, which the label says is a blend of negroamaro and malvasia nera, was - well, unusual, I suppose is one word. Here's my TN - "Very extracted and oxidized, almost like sherry on the nose. Couldn't figure out if bottle had gone bad or if this was the intended style. The raisiny, overextracted quality followed on the palate as well and was overwhelming and out of balance."

Indeed, at the restaurant I puzzled over whether to send the wine back, though because it wasn't obviously corked, and because I didn't know the wine enough to know whether this was how it was SUPPOSED to taste, I decided not to.

After getting home, I looked up reviews in Parker and Spectator - Parker notes the "controversial late harvest Amarone-like notes along with a touch of volatile acidity" but ultimately praises it as an "authentic, rustic southern Italian red made in an old style." Spectator also called it "slightly raisiny" and called it "Rather old styled but a good drink." (Parker 87 pts, Spectator 81 pts for those keeping score).

I can't tell if the oxidized, madeirized qualities I noted were present when these ratings were done (which was 3 yrs ago) or developed with age, though there are similar comments in several of the more recent tasting notes on cellatracker.

So - was the wine flawed, or was this just the "old-school" style? Would it have been appropriate to send it back? (I don't think wine should be sent back just because you don't like it).

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