Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An Italian icon, the Galardi 2017 Terra di Lavoro draws its fruit from 400 meters in altitude, where nighttime temperatures are cool. This makes all the difference in a hot vintage such as 2017. The wine is very nice in appearance and intensity, with lots of dark, savory fruit, tobacco and spice. You will also find some scorched earth in there if you dig a bit.
The family-owned Galardi estate produces just one wine and it does so with perfection. Located on volcanic slopes in northwestern Campania, the vineyards are nestled among chestnut groves and benefit from Mediterranean Sea breezes. Terra di Lavoro actually means “land of work” in Italian, a name that has historical roots, but also accurately reflects the difficult volcanic soil composition which results in very low yields. In this challenging environment, Aglianico and its supporting grape Piedirosso produce wines of incredible depth, complexity and elegance.
Galardi is both concept and wine born out of the collective energy and shared vision of four cousins. Terro di Lavoro expresses the natural environment of Campania without parallel. The winery, named for the localita (area) Galardi, was created from scratch in 1991 when four cousins decided to produce wine from what was then a scant 0.5 hectare plot belonging to the family. The cousins, Maria Lusia Murena, Arturo and Dora Celentano, and Francesco Castello, shared a vision for producing a world class wine from Roccamonfina, an extinct volcano, 100 kilometers north and west of Campania's traditional quality zone of Taurasi. In 1993, the group requested the assistance of winemaking consultant Riccardo Cotarella, who had already achieved fame for his work with another Campanian estate: Montevetrano. The old rootstock was grafted over to high-quality cuttings of Aglianico and Piedirosso and in 1994, 600 bottles were produced and Galardi was born.
A winemaking renaissance is underfoot in Campania as more and more small, artisan and family-run wineries redefine their style with vineyard improvements and cellar upgrades. The region boasts a cool Mediterranean climate with extreme coastal, as well as high elevation mountain terroirs. It is cooler than one might expect in Campania; the region usually sees some of the last harvest dates in Italy.
Just south of Mount Vesuvio, the volcanic and sandy soils create aromatic and fresh reds based on Piedirosso and whites, made from Coda di Volpe and Falanghina. Both reds and whites go by the name, Lacryma Christi, meaning the "tears of Christ." South of Mount Vesuvio, along the Amalfi Coast, the white varieties of Falanghina and Biancolella make fresh, flirty, mineral-driven whites, and the red Piedirosso and Sciasinoso vines, which cling to steeply terraced coastlines, make snappy and ripe red wines.
Farther inland, as hills become mountains, the limestone soil of Irpinia supports the whites Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina and Greco di Tufo as well as the most-respected red of the south, Aglianico. Here the best and most age-worthy examples come from Taurasi.
Farther north and inland near the city of Benevento, the Taburno region also produces Aglianico of note—called Aglianico del Taburno—on alluvial soils. While not boasting the same heft as Taurasi, these are also reliable components of any cellar.
Making its home in the mountainous southern Italy, Aglianico is a bold red variety that is late to ripen and often spends until November on the vine. It thrives in Campania as the exclusive variety in the age-worthy red wine called Taurasi. Aglianico also has great success in the volcanic soils of Basilicata where it makes the robust, Aglianico del Vulture. Somm Secret—The name “Aglianico” bears striking resemblance to Ellenico, the Italian word for "Greek," but no evidence shows it has Greek ancestry. However, it first appeared in Italy around an ancient Greek colony located in present-day Avellino, Campania.