September 20, 2006

Mastroberardino 2004 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (about $19)

This wine turned my world upside down.

Lacryma Christi is an appellation in Campania, Italy, that used to produce wines so awful that the only way to interpret its name, "tears of Christ," was to think that perhaps Christ was crying over the poor use of the vineyards rather that weeping with joy.

Mastroberardino long has been working to restore the region's ancient vineyards and grape varieties to their former exalted status, and this is proof that the work is paying off.

Smoky and sultry, the wine evokes the soils of the vineyards around Mount Vesuvius; peach and fresh almond flavors round it out, smooth and tempting, especially with grilled fish or trout wrapped in bacon.

Imported by Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, Calif.

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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