Aglianico: The Young Star of Italy’s Reds
Ah, the Aglianico, one of Italy’s most celebrated reds. Although it is primarily grown in the south of Italy, this grape originated in Greece and was moved by Greek settlers, which makes it one of the oldest known and consumed wines.
The best climate for this grape is a dry one with plenty of sunshine and volcanic soils, which is why it thrives so well in southern Italy. The two regions that produce the most, and best, Aglianico are Basilicata near Mount Vulture and Campania which houses the volcanic hills of Taurasi.
Unlike its Italian competition, the Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, the Aglianico comes with a young, spicy flavor. Deep red in color, this wine has aromas of many dark fruits like black cherry, blackberry, and brambleberry, which are accompanied by notes of truffle and leather, as well as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa.
This combination of flavors and highly tannic quality gives it a complex nature that pairs extremely well with red meat like brisket and gamey meats like rabbit and oxtail. The fruit flavors and high level of tannins complements hearty vegetables as well as a wide variety of fresh herbs, especially those commonly found in Italian cuisine such as thyme and rosemary.
The beauty of the Aglianico is the late maturity. When purchasing a bottle, consider the fact that their best age will be around ten years. Check out Wine Enthusiast’s highest rated Aglianicos and begin your journey through one of Italy’s most treasured red wines!