2004 Guastaferro Taurasi Primum

BY ERIC GUIDO | MAY 11, 2020

Knowing when to open a Taurasi is always tricky. We all hear that the wines can age on their balance of fruit, tannin, and elevated acidity but capturing a bottle in that magic moment is the challenge. To make things even more difficult, Campania, Taurasi’s home turf, is a minefield of quality-minded producers dispersed amongst a much larger population of winemakers that continue to use old, sometimes rotting barrels, or small barrels of nefarious origins. So what is a consumer to do? My advice is to buy on the reputation of the producer first. Guastaferro has proven to be one of the leaders in the region.

It was with this in mind that I decided to check in on the 2004 Taurasi Primum. I was not disappointed. Two thousand-four was one of the best vintages for red wines in Campania in the last 20 years. In my opinion, it ranks with 2001, 2007 and 2010. The vineyards enjoyed a long growing season, and although warm in general, producers were able to harvest at ideal ripeness due to moderate weather throughout October and November. When you add Guastaferro’s 150-175-year-old, ungrafted vines to this mix, the result is magic. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying Taurasi from the 1960s and 1970s, and I must say that I believe that this wine will continue to improve through its 30th birthday, yet there’s no shame in enjoying a bottle today.

Classic from the first tilt of the glass, the 2004 Guastaferro Taurasi Primum has matured beautifully, showing a seductive mix of tobacco, dried black cherries, spiced orange, hints of pine, ashen earth and white smoke minerality, gaining richness with every minute it spends in the glass. Contrasting cooling minerals and citrus, with tart red and black berry fruits saturate the senses under an air of rosy inner florals. The finish is zesty and long, with residual acids and tannins that are still adolescent. The balance here is amazing. Although I’m loving this today, I imagine it will only get better with another ten years in the cellar. Money in the bank. Bravo. 95/Drink 2020-2030.