History and characteristics of Aglianico.

History and characteristics of Aglianico.

Oct 11, 2022


Ilaria Rosa | Bottle of Italy

Aglianico is a red grape variety of great value grown in the regions of southern Italy: Puglia, Molise, Basilicata and Campania. It is said that a legendary wine derives from "Falerno", however not much is known of its origin; there are those who claim to be of Etruscan or Greek origins, in the past it was in fact called Hellenic, and the Greek colonists who founded Cuma may have brought it with them. Pliny spoke of the great Aminea family, originally from Spain, and could have reached the kingdom of Naples with the Aragonese. What is certain is that Aglianico is an excellent red wine, of great elegance, particularly structured and full-bodied, and with its marked tannins it is particularly suitable for sustained aging. Given the great character, the very high sugar concentration, the area of origin and the great propensity for aging, the choice could fall on the Falerno.

Aglianico is a hillside vine that prefers volcanic areas, where it finds its favorite habitat; it grows best in windy hills, suffers from excessive heat but also from cold, and needs mild winters. The areas in which we find its presence most widespread are: the Vulture in Basilicata, the Taurasi in Irpinia, and the Benevento Taburno. These types of native vines are the highest quality, three denominations that boast the DOCG brand and are produced between Basilicata and Campania, bear the same name and grow on the same type of volcanic soil, albeit quite different from each other.

Aglianico del Vulture is produced in Basilicata, the area where the cultivation of vines prevails is the area of Mount Vulture, an inactive volcano. A wine made exclusively from grapes from the Aglianico vine that is aged for one year. After about 3 years of aging this excellent red wine is defined "old", after five it becomes "reserve".Aglianico del Vulture DOC - Night and theAglianico del Vulture DOCG - Divine both produced by the Terra dei Re winery.

Let's now see Aglianico di Taurasi (DOC since 1970 and DOCG since 1993) whose vineyards are cultivated in Irpinia in the province of Avellino, on hilly and foothill land at an altitude between 400 and 700 meters above sea level. The soils in the area are rich in clay and retain moisture, this allows the vineyards to perfectly resist periods of drought. The wine is produced from the vinification of berries from Aglianico vines (minimum 85%), left to age for a minimum of three years, of which at least one year in wooden barrels. For the "reserve" Taurasi, forced aging must be at least four years, of which at least one and a half years in wooden barrels. Among our proposals we advise you to taste theAglianico Taurasi Aurelia DOCG of Rocca del Principe winery and theAglianico Rosso DOCG - Taurasi Amato produced by the Mito winery.

Finally we see the Aglianico del Taburno cultivated in the province of Benevento in particular on the slopes of Mount Taburno. A wine produced in three types: Rosso, Rosso Riserva and Rosato, this too starting from Aglianico grapes (minimum 85%). The classic red must be aged for at least two years, the reserve red must do so for about three years, of which at least one year in wooden barrels and six months in the bottle. Try theAglianico del Beneventano IGT produced by the De Falco winery.

Aglianico is not a wine to drink immediately but you have to give it time, it begins to express its great qualities after years of aging (from 3 to 5 years depending on the type), and it is from 10 upwards that it gives the best of self. The refinement is carried out in oak wood, but some wineries also use the barrique to enhance the aromas. A very structured ruby red wine, extremely full-bodied and persistent, tannic and elegant; for this reason it can never be a light wine even if, with aging, the acidity diminishes.

The scent and taste are particularly warm and intense, enveloping and fruity, black cherry, cherry and red fruits are perceived, blended with spicy aromas of black pepper, licorice roots and rhubarb. For the more patient, Aglianico is a wine that knows how to give unique emotions, of extreme elegance that has evolved over time, saturated with enormously complex, tertiary and ethereal aromas, always accompanied by powerful tannins. An excellence with a great determination in which the alcoholic component is of great depth, it will rarely be possible to drink a "light" Aglianico. With these important tannins it is definitely a carnivorous wine, perfect to combine with grilled meats, spit-roasted chicken or curry, as well as being superb with baked lasagna.

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