Bill, here's Parker's note on the 1986:
"1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. P90: The 1986 Notarpanaro exhibits high levels of concentration, glycerin, body, and alcohol, with an element of rusticity and tannin. The wine is full-bodied, chewy, thick, and rich. It is a winter-weight wine that is best consumed with a hearty soup, a cassoulet, or a stew. Despite its fullness and richness, it is extremely easy to drink. Consider it Italy's answer to a blockbuster, heavy-weight Châteauneuf du Pape from France, or a California late-harvested Zinfandel, but without any residual sugar. It is such a rich, alcoholic wine that it will have no difficulty holding its fruit and aging well for 10 or more years."
We bought a case of the 1986 and loved the wine; a typical note from the first couple of years I was drinking wine seriously:
9/3/95 Janet liked this wine, especially the taste of cherries. Pretty, clear ruby color, lovely aroma of violets and cherries; cherry taste with some spice and acid, medium mouth feel; 15 to 20 second finish. A lovely wine. 5*.
1/16/96 1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. Excellent red wine; light tannin, short finish, but really good. David and Janet agreed. 5*.
12/4/98 1986 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. Janet liked this wine, especially the taste of cherries, but found it too acidic. Opened a bit later. Pretty, clear ruby color, lovely aroma of violets and cherries; cherry taste with some spice and acid, medium mouth feel; good finish with fruit and spice notes. 4*.
We didn't like the 1988 vintaga as much:
12/15/96 1988 Taurino Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento Guagnano Apulia Italy. P90. Should readers want something rich, thick, and viscous, check out Taurino's 1988 Notarpanaro. It is hard to believe $12 can purchase a wine with this much intensity. This single-vineyard offering exhibits plenty of jammy, black-cherry fruit aromas and flavors intermixed with tobacco, leather, and licorice. It boasts full body, admirable intensity, and a supple, silky smooth, spicy, earthy finish. The wine's power suggests it should drink well for 4-5 years. It is an excellent value. 1996-2001. Clear red color; fruit aroma; strong fruit taste with light tannin; ten second finish; almost as nice as the 1986 vintage. 4*.
And, after tasting the 1990 vintage, I gave up on the wine:
1/21/99 Thu 1995 Il Falcone Apulia Italy. According to waiter, a blend of Aruero Nero [query spelling; not in Robinson] and Primitivo, both local Puglia wines. $7.50 per glass. Lunch at I Trulli, East 27th Street, vegetarian risotto. Cuisine is southern Italian, with a strong emphasis on Puglia; excellent wine bar in next door dining room call Entocata [query spelling]. Our waiter knew Italian wines very well; and said he thought Notarpanaro had slipped since the 1990 vintage; 1988 and especially 1986 were excellent. Clear red color; very good fruit aroma with good spice; good fruit taste with hints of chocolate and cherries; medium mouth feel; fairly short, intense finish, good fruit; very good with the risotto; resembled a Zinfandel with less attack. 3*.