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Vigneti del Vulture Aglianico del Vulture Piano del Cerro 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Vulture is part of a large area that extends to the north of the Basilicata region, dominated by the austere profile of the Monte Vulture, a non-active volcano. For centuries the volcanoes were thought of as a source of destruction and death, today farmers are compensated for the damage caused by the eruptions of the past centuries by being able to grow vines on the cooled lava which contains an incomparable wealth of minerals, which create the grapes complexity.
To get the best wines, however, require not just great terroir, but it is important to have the grapes that best fit to these lands. Varieties such as Aglianico and Greco have been shown to be able to adapt to these beautifully unspoiled areas, producing wines of great complexity and depth.
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.
Taking its home in the mountainous southern Italian regions of Campania and Basilicata, Aglianico is a bold red variety that needs a long hang time to fully develop and is actually one of the very last of the Italian red varieties to be harvested each year. It often spends until November on the vine and pushing it any faster often leads to rough and untamable tannins.
The name “Aglianico” bears striking resemblance to Ellenico, the Italian word for "Greek," but no evidence shows it having any ancestry in Greece. However, first documentation of its plantings appear around an ancient Greek colony located in the lush hills of present-day Avellino, Campania. It thrives there today as the exclusive variety in the strikingly delicious and age-worthy, red wine called Taurasi. While maybe not as popular as Brunello or Barolo, among Italy’s noble reds, it certainly can boast the same aging potential. Aglianico also has great success in volcanic soils such as those found in Basilicata where it makes the robust Aglianico del Vulture. It is also found scattered throughout vineyards in Calabria, Puglia and Molise.
Producers in Austrailia and California grow Aglianico with success too.
The best Aglianicos are rustic and earthy, deep in color with dried fig, plum, blackberry, black pepper and dark chocolate. Full of fine-grained tannins, Aglianico has good acidity and an intense, lingering finish. Aglianico is fantastic alongside roasted or grilled meats, anything with black truffles and aged cheeses.