Discover the Secrets of Aglianico Wine: Your Ultimate Guide to Sipping and Savoring the Best of Italy
Aglianico is the most important red wine in Southern Italy, and many believe it is a descendant of the legendary wine Falerno.
The history of Aglianico
In reality, we don’t know where it came from; it could be Etruscan or Greek, hence the name “Hellenic,” and it could have arrived with the first Greek colonists who founded Cuma. It could be part of the large Aminea family referred to by Pliny, it may have originated in Spain and arrived in the kingdom of Naples with the Aragonese. The first mention is found only in 1500, but all this does not matter.
What we know is that Agliano is a great red wine, extremely elegant, structured, tannic, full-bodied, and suitable for defying the years with glorious aging. The fact that it has character, a very high sugar concentration, and is very long-lived could lean towards the hypothesis of Falerno, but let’s let the imagination run wild. And even if it were not the same grape-wine, surely the production area is the same, so we can say Aglianico is the king of South Italy.
Production areas of Aglianico
Aglianico is a vine that loves the hills, which are indeed volcanic; not by chance, the most suitable areas are in the Vulture in Basilicata, on the slopes of the homonymous volcano. Irpinia, with its volcanic soils in Taurasi, and finally the marl of Aglianico del Taburno, which is making great strides.
The character of the Aglianico
It is a vine that suffers the heat, needs wind, the tops of the hills, and mild winters, it is not easy at all to produce this wine, especially for its aggressiveness.
From Aglianico, you get tannic, sugary, very acidic, and structured wines that must undergo a long refinement, to smooth the edges and transform this thickness into finesse and elegance. Just to say: Taurasi Riserva must age for 49 months in the cellar.
But for those who know how to wait, Aglianico is a wine that offers unique emotions, an evolved, mature elegance, full of complex tertiary and ethereal aromas, all framed by appealing tannins.
Aging in wood is usually carried out in large oak barrels, but the use of barriques is also common and certainly more intrusive. But all this extract must be tamed in one way or another, and the process is faster using barrels because of greater oxygenation.
When young, it is purple, but over the years it tends to turn ruby and then garnet with orange reflections. Color is key to understanding what you are drinking. It is a crime to consume a young Aglianico!
The fruit is warm and enveloping, with cherries and even more ripe tones of plum jam. There is never a shortage of pepper and roots such as licorice and rhubarb, sweet spices, and tobacco due to aging in wood. Intensity, variety, and persistence are exceptional.
What does Aglianico taste like?
The acidity is high, but over time it softens, and the same goes for tannins, so you will rarely find a light Aglianico. The alcoholic component is very thick; however, the long rest in wood allows a complex and opulent aromatic development.
Aglianico wine food pairings
With this grit and thundering tannins, it is a proudly carnivorous wine, perfect for grilled meat, lasagna, pulled pork, empanadas, burritos, polenta with meat sauce, grilled meat; black truffle risotto, passatelli with Parmigiano fondue and truffle, bucatini all’amatriciana, roast beef.