Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Aglianico derives from Hellenic, or Ellenico, the Italian word for Greek, indicating that the centuries-old varietal was introduced by the Greeks who settled in Southern Italy as early as 700 B.C. It was blended into the historical Falernum, the most requested wine in the world at that time. Though also cultivated in Puglia, Molise, and Sicily, aglianico reaches its full potential in Campania (Aglianico del Taburno, Sannio Aglianico, Solopaca Aglianico, Benevento Aglianico, and Taurasi) and in Basilicata (Aglianico del Vulture), where it finds its ideal combination of volcanic soil and warm to hot climate.
It is an early budding, late ripening variety and in the right hands can produce very long-lived wines of intensity and finesse.

Aglianicos are generally bold, robust wines, with wild berry, plum, cassis, coffee, earth, leather, and mushroom notes, firm tannins, noticeable acidity, and, occasionally, a rich, satiny texture.

The finest, most age worthy Agliancos are arguably made in Taurasi, often referred to as the "Barolo of the South," and varietally labeled versions especially from the Sannio area are benchmark examples of the deeply colored, intense, boldly flavored wines.

Many of Basilicata’s Aglianico del Vulture wines seem to be stuck in a rustic past, but producers like Elena Fucci are bringing new life to the area.

Aglianico's ability to make deeply colored and aromatic wines in warm to hot regions indicate that it is a variety with considerable future in South Australia and California’s Napa Valley and Amador County.

Aminea Aglianico Monsignore IGT, Campania (Italy)
Villa Carafa Aglianico Sannio Ziné, Campania (Italy)
De Concilis Aglianico Donnaluna, Campania (Italy)
Montesole Aglianico Sannio, Campania (Italy)
Terre Riserva Aglianico, Campania (Italy)
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi, Campania (Italy)
Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi, Campania (Italy)
Elena Fucci Aglianco Titolo, Basilicata (Italy)
Cantine di Venosa Aglianico del Vulture Carato Venusio, Basilicata (Italy)

Best Value
Aglianico Contado IGT, Molise (Italy)
Domenico Aglianico, Amador County, California (USA)
Montevina Aglianico, Amador County, California (USA)

© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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