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The Aglianico Grape


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About Aglianico

(Synonyms: Aglianco di Puglia, Aglianica, Aglianichella, Aglianichello, Aglianico Amaro, Aglianico del Vulture, Aglianico di Castellaneta, Aglianico di Taurasi, Avellino, Aglianico Nero, Aglianico Pannarano, Aglianicuccia, Agliano, Agliatica, Agliatico, Agnanico, Agnanico di Castellaneta, Cascavoglia, Cerasole, Ellanico, Ellenico, Fiano Rrosso, Fresella, Gagliano, Ghiandara, Ghianna, Ghiannara, Glianica, Gnanica, Gnanico, Granica, Olivella di San Cosmo, Ruopolo, Spriema, Tringarulo, Uva Catellaneta, Uva dei Cani, Uva di Castellaneta, Uva Nera

Background

Map showing the Basilicata and Campania regions

Aglianico is a red-wine grape originating in Greece (though no longer found there) but developed chiefly in its present home, southern Italy, notably the Basilicata and Campania regions. There is a highly regarded DOCG (Italian wine appellation), Aglianico del Vulture, in Basilicata; there is now also a DOCG Aglianico del Vulture Superiore. In Campania, there is the Taurasi DOCG, another respected type. The del Vulture must legally be 100% Aglianico; the Taurasi may contain up to 15% of a certain few other reds (Barbera is most often used, though Piedirosso and Sangiovese sometimes show up as well).

Aglianico is a major grape, often called "the Barolo of the South". It is one of Italy’s three great red-wine grapes (along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese), and one of the world’s foremost red-wine types. It is now also being grown in a few New World areas, notably California but also Texas and Australia (it is most definitely a warm-climate grape). It seems to do especially well on volcanic soils (which drain very well, and Aglianico seems to like dry roots).

Aglianico is a big wine: dark, full-bodied, strong, rich, deep, with the high tannin levels and high acidity that make it an excellently ageable wine. Owing to its tannins and concentration, it can be on the rough side when young, and typically wants at least a few years of bottle age to start showing its fruit and, in general, reaching its great potential. Good specimens tend to taste of dark fruit (cherries and plums are often mentioned), frequently with the overtones of chocolate often found in big red wines. Good examples can readily age for a decade or two to their advantage.

Factoid: Aglianico was the dominant grape in the well-known ancient Roman Falernian wine—which, curiously, was a white wine (the white-wine grape now known as Greco di Tufo was the other component). Also: DNA analysis suggests that Aglianico and Syrah are related.


Some Descriptions of Aglianico Wines


Some Aglianicos to Try

(About this list.)

Because there are two areas in Italy that produce the highest-quality Aglianico but are distinct from each other in the style of wines produced, we present two "mini-lists", one for each region: the Taurasi and the del Vulture zones.

Taurisi Aglianicos:
Donnachiara “Campania” Aglianico
(Take care: they also bottle an “Irpinia” version)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Mastroberardino “Redimore”

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Salvatore Molettieri Irpinia “Cinque Querce”
(They also bottle a “Riserva” version, listed below as a splurge.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks


del Vulture Aglianicos:
Bisceglia “Gudarra”

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Macarico

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



D’Angelo

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks


For a Splurge

For a splurge Aglianico, the choices are a Taurasi from Campania or an Aglianico del Vulture from just over the border in the hills of Basilicata—the two premiere appellations for this variety. And we will, in fact, suggest one of each.

Campania

The Campania specimen is the Salvatore Molettieri “Cinque Querce” Riserva, the upscale version of one of the wines listed above.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks
del Vulture

The del Vulture specimen is the Elena Fucci "Titolo" Aglianico del Vulture Riserva.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks


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This page was last modified on Sunday, 8 December 2019, at 9:40 pm Pacific Time.