Aglianico is said to be an Italianization of “Hellenic” meaning “from Greece”. It has been the big bruiser on the block in Campania (think Naples and Vesuvius), Basilicata (just inland from there) and parts of Puglia for almost literally forever. Often called “The Barolo of the South”, it is a very structured wine that can age for decades while continuously developing more complex perfumes as the tannins soften out. We have examples ranging from medium bodied and quaffable Pugliese bottlings to amazing fifteen year old Riservas from famed Taurasi producer Struzziero.
Basilicata? It’s the Italian Outback…Throw another Wild Boar on the barbie.
Cantina di Venoza Aglianico del Vulture Vignali 2008, Basilicata
Our notes from VinItaly 2012: “100% Aglianico from vines 10-20 years old at 400-550 meters. This was crazy good for the money and got two red glasses in the GR. Get a pallet to start!”
Cantina di Venoza Vino Spumante Rosso Abboccato Vignali, Basilicata
We don’t need no STINKIN’ sparkling Shiraz…we got THIS! We were blown away by this at VinItaly 2012: 100% Aglianico that is dark as night with rich black fruit and spices on the palate, a subtle sweetness to balance that plus it’s SPARKLING! Try one….you might get lucky.
Azienda Vitivincola Eleano, Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata
While they are working on their 20th vintage (which would make them old hands in California) Eleano is a relatively new cantina in this ancient zona. They farm 5 hectares with South East exposure and 600 meters elevation in deep volcanic soil generated by uncounted eruptions of nearby Mt. Vulture over the eons. Dispite their short history they are THE critical darlings of the neighborhood with their wines getting top mentions in all the Italian Wine Guides. As we were typing this we searched all the American wine guides and found nary a mention so it seems we are once again way ahead of the curve.
Eleano Aglianico del Vulture Dioniso 2006, Basilicata
Got Ooooomph?!?!? A real Tooth Stainer from The DARK Side: Aglianico is one of the great overlooked grape varieties of the world. Originating in the what is now Campania but used to be Magna Graecia (greater Greece) and spreading into Basilicata, Molise and Puglia, it is often called The Barolo of the South. This one is grown in deep volcanic soil in Basilicata and you can taste the fire and brimstone. It is pining for your best grilled meat (or even game) dish and will NOT disappoint. Then there is its deeper, darker, bigger and even brawnier big brother:
Eleano Aglianico del Vulture Eleano 2004, Basilicata