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The Gaglioppo Grape


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About Gaglioppo

(Synonyms: Arvino Nero, Cirotana, Gaglioppo di Cirò, Gallopo, Morellino Pizzuto, Navarna.)

Background

Map showing the Calabria region of Italy.

Gaglioppo is a red-wine grape originating in Calabria, the “toe” of the Italian boot shape. It is another quite ancient grape, being first cited in early 1240, by which time it was already recognized as a good wine. Modern DNA analyses imply that Gaglioppo is a descendant of the superb Sangiovese grape of Chianti.

(A note on pronunciation: it is gal-YO-po. You can hear it said at this link.)

Gaglioppo is thought to be at its best in the Cirò D.O.C.  Gaglioppo is made elsewhere then Cirò, and such wines can differ in style from the better-known Cirò ones, but they are decidedly less common in the U.S. market.

Possibly the foremost characteristic of Gaglioppo wines is their tannin content. Producers striving for excellence have to take great care in the vinification process to tame those tannins, and the good ones do. Aside from tannin, Gaglioppo wines show excellent fruit, sometimes a “dusty” quality, and often a whiff of roses. They are medium-bodied, and medium-colored.

Cirò wines, and Gaglioppo in general, are rising rapidly in popularity—about as rapidly as wine drinkers world round get to sample those wines. The grape was long disdained because (as is sadly so often the case, especially with Italian wines) since time out of mind the emphasis was on sheer quantity, with scarcely a thought for quality. But the new generation of Calabrian winemakers—who have become known as “The Cirò Boys”, as a light-hearted parallel to “The Barolo Boys”—have been working hard collaboratively to raise the level of regional winemaking and the quality of the wines. And by all reports, they have been quite successful.

Factoid: There is an entire web site dedicated solely to Gaglioppo: Gaglioppo.com.

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Some Descriptions of Gaglioppo Wines

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Some Gaglioppos to Try

(About this list.)

Note that owing to the paucity of Gaglioppo-based wines in the U.S. market, some of the wines shown below may be scarcer than we like for these lists.


Librandi ”Duca Sanfelice” Cirò Rosso Riserva
(The ”Duca Sanfelice” distinguishes this from their other Cirò bottlings. This is 100% Gaglioppo.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Scala Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore
(This is the Classico Superiore, not the plain Classico bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Librandi Cirò Rosso Classico
(This is the plain Classico, not the ”Duca Sanfelice” listed farther above.)

• 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



Statti Gaglioppo
(A non-Cirò Calabrian Gaglioppo.)

• 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



San Francesco Cirò Rosso Classico
(This is their basic Classico bottling, not their “Ronco dei Quattroventi” or their “Duca dell'Argillone” bottling.)

• 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

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Gaglioppo wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.