The Aglianico Grape: A real gem from Italy



Aglianico is a full-bodied red wine which is found almost exclusively in Southern Italy in the regions of Campania and Basilicata. Young Aglianico wines are known for strikingly savory flavors of leather, white pepper, black fruits and cured meat. For those of us who are a fan of rustic, earth-driven wines, Aglianico is a star.

Aglianico Grape

The Star of the South : While Aglianico is planted in a number of Italy’s southern regions, it’s the focus of just two: Campania and Basilicata. In Basilicata, the Anglianico is the only wine with the DOCG classification.

It is believe to be one of the best grape in Italy with the Sangiovese and the Nebbiolo, the last one use for the spectacular Barolo and Barbaresco (Some of our favortie wines). When you consider that a 2000 grapes are cultivated in Italy it show the true potential of the wine.

Tasting :

The Aglianico can age from 10 to 20 years.

The flavor profile is vast. It goes from  Cracked Peppercorn, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Blackberry Bramble, Black Plum, Dried Cranberry, Dried Raspberry, Wild Strawberry, to finally Black Truffle and notes of Tobacco.

It’s a wine with lots of Tannins, Powerful and with high acidity.

In order to really appreciate the Aglianico, patience is require something that have disappear in the last decade. It’s similar to it’s Northern Italian companion the Nebbiolo, in the sense that it needs time.

With time you will get aromas of mature fruit mix with spiced smoke. The evolution will be similar to Great wines made to be aged.

Although most of the Aglianico found in the market today are made to be drank in their youth, we recommand to go for the more wild and authentic Aglianico wine and cellar it for a few years. Your patience will definitely be rewarded.

Within these areas there are three production zones that have the highest tier Italian wine classification (DOCG). Each region has a decidedly different expression of the wine, but the volcanic soils are what ties them all together.

3 styles :

  1. Taurasi : The most famous of all produce in the Taurasi region. Need at least 8 years of ageing before being drank
  2. Aglianico del Taburno : The most rustic of all – Leather and Earth flavors
  3. Aglianico del Vulture : Plum and berry with a slight touch of earthiness.

The grape buds early and is late ripening. It thrives in hot, dry climates. Today, it is cultivated in such disparate places as the Murray Darling region of Australia, as well as Texas, Arizona and California.

Some history :

Recent DNA analyses have indicated that Aglianico may be a variety ancestral to such grapes as Syrah, Teroldego and Negro Amaro. As Antonio Mastroberardino has said on numerous occasions: ‘Aglianico has been grown in Campania for thousands of years. It made wine for the Romans. For centuries it has proliferated but was almost destroyed by phylloxera and was on the verge of extinction until families like the Mastroberardino act to save the grape.

Aglianico was possibly the principal grape variety in the Roman world’s most expensive wine, Falernian. The Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder described wines made from Aglianico as among the greatest in antiquity

Outstanding Aglianico wine:

The Montevetrano wine : A blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Aglianico has become one of the most expensive wines in Italy, and certainly one of the most scarce (the small estate produces only the one wine, and its production has just about reached 17,000 bottles, less than 1,500 cases a year).

The Mastroberardino of Basilicata :

After World War II, the Mastroberardino family decide to save the grape and became one of the reference of the Aglianico grape in Italy.

Mastroberardino Aglianico Riserva wine is consider one of the best wine in Italy.

Aglianico di Vultura, produced on the steep slopes of Mt. Vulture, an ancient volcano in the northern area of the province of Potenza, is widely considered to be one of southern Italy’s greatest wines.

One of the most highly rated Aglianico del Vulture wines, is the Elena Fucci, Titolo.
This wine is produced from vineyards over 1,800 feet above sea level, among the highest in Vulture.

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