Macarico Macari Aglianico del Vulture 2017
Ruby red with garnet, light and impenetrable. It has a elegant nose reminiscent of cherry and ripe plum, accompanied by hints of spices and licorice root. Rich, full, well balanced, with notes of cherry, a final cherry and slightly spicy with a pleasant astringency which is typical of the grape variety and of the traditional process.
Rino Botte and his wife, Lucia—both Barile natives—returned home to this beautiful, yet remote region of southern Italy after great success in the restaurant business in the north. Both knew, somehow, that even though they left Barile with wanderlust in their hearts, there was something magical about the region that would someday draw them back.
Botte returned in 1998 to purchase an abandoned winery in the heart of Barile to found both his winery, Macarico, and the Locanda del Palazzo, a hotel and restaurant that showcases the best wines and food of Basilicata and all of southern Italy.
What makes Macarico unique is its forward-looking approach to winemaking in a region that has known vines and wine for more than 2,000 years. High-altitude vineyards (more than 1,300 feet) enjoy an ideal southeastern exposure, and grow straight from the Macarico lava flow, from which the wine draws its name. The estate cellar was carved into the volcanic hillside, following local tradition—today families still keep this tradition, and such petite wine caves dot the hilly landscape of Barile. Macarico vineyards too are the densest in the region, with 10,000 plants per hectare.
The estate’s Macarico is aged for 14 months in a blend of new and used barrel; the estate’s “second” label, “Macari,” is aged for 10 months in older barrels.
Food, wine and culture should be the same word in Italian—so inseparable are local dishes with local wine and the spirit of the Italian family table. Few places we’ve discovered in our travels in Italy combine such a spirit so effortlessly, and with such high class.
Inhabiting the arch of Italy’s boot, this southern, mountainous region has a relatively small amount of vineyard area under vine. Basilicata has one DOCG for its prized red grape, Aglianico, Aglianico del Vulture Superior, which is limited to the slopes of an extinct volcano. The best whites are made of Malvasia bianca.
Making its home in the mountainous southern Italy, Aglianico is a bold red variety that is late to ripen and often spends until November on the vine. It thrives in Campania as the exclusive variety in the age-worthy red wine called Taurasi. Aglianico also has great success in the volcanic soils of Basilicata where it makes the robust, Aglianico del Vulture. Somm Secret—The name “Aglianico” bears striking resemblance to Ellenico, the Italian word for "Greek," but no evidence shows it has Greek ancestry. However, it first appeared in Italy around an ancient Greek colony located in present-day Avellino, Campania.