Paternoster, Don Anselmo, 1997

This is one of the leading wineries in Basilicata (south Italy, folks) and this wine is one of the outstanding examples of Aglianico, the signature grape of the area. I've had it several times, and at its best I'd describe it as:

A fascinating Old World wine. Browning yet solid color. The nose has a signature of cherries at first, then black fruits, but as this wine isn't really about fruit, the prominent notes from the first are of an intriguing herbal mix and some earth. The palate shows good acidity, the kind that backs up a solid core of fruit and doesn't make a lot of noise; a spicy, lingering finish; bitter tannins that are very well integrated; and it's so well balanced you don't feel how full the body is. (Oct. 29, 2006)

If only I was lucky enough to consistently catch it at its best. My second encounter was very similar only less enchanting. That is, similar notes and a lower potential score. My last encounter was a couple of weeks ago, when the palate proved as structured as in the past but its aromatics were so raisen-y it pushed the wine in an Amarone-ish direction and as a whole, the wine was so befuddling it turned everyone off.

Imported by Anavim. Not sure about the present price but it's still available. Wine Advocate liked the 2000 vintage, by the way.

Off Topic

My wife thought my new glasses were rather Elvis Costello-ish and searching through YouTube to follow up on this premise we found this: the famous appearance on Saturday Night Live that practically got him blacklisted off American radio (some months later he would get into a bar brawl and describe Ray Charles using the N word, putting the final touches on the unenviable task of killing his own career). As you will see in the clip, he starts out singing "Less Than Zero" before stopping the song, saying "there's no reason to sing this song" and plunging straight into "Radio, Radio". I suppose prime time American TV in the late 70's was just about ready to accept a song about fascism in the UK but not a song that claimed fascism was everywhere on the radio.

Personal growth really sucks if it means you stop writing songs like this and start writing songs about people who write letters to Julliet.