Aleatico Wine Guide
Aleatico is one of the most interesting and fascinating aromatic vines, thanks to its marked aromaticity, good structure and natural elegance that distinguishes it from its other competitors.
Unlike many aromatic vines, it manages to never become monotonous or predictable, indeed we are not afraid to say that among all these vines so rich in primary aromas, it is the most flexible, engaging and suitable for producing an incredible variety of wines.
Types of wines based on Aleatico
It is an incredible vine, moldable like clay. Aleatico produces splendid rosé wines with exciting finesse, dry red wines full of suggestions and good structure. But above all with Aleatico you can make sensational sweet passito wines, some of the most sumptuous nectars that Italian enology can boast. If we want to stay in the field of aromatics, only a few passito Gewurztraminer can stand comparison.
Production areas of Aleatico
Its chosen area, where it is at home and finds ideal conditions, is the Island of Elba, where many produce grapes, but do not make wine and therefore there are not many winemakers. However, the average quality of the producers on the Island of Elba is good and if you consider that it’s a paradise for those who love the sea, swimming, and nature, taking a food and wine trip to the Island of Elba is a unique experience.
But Aleatico is known to be a vine that loves the coast, the sea, and the Mediterranean scrub because these are also its scents, the ones you will smell when you bring the glass to your nose. For this reason, it produced along the whole Tuscan coast, in Lucca, Pisa, Livorno, but also in Romagna, Lazio, Marche and especially in Puglia, where it is an important grape in the production of excellent wines such as the Aleatico di Puglia DOC, Gioia del Colle and Salice Salentino in blend with Negramaro.
What does Aleatico wine taste like?
The most characteristic aromas of Aleatico are those of geranium and wild strawberries, but it is not a fetishist sommelier detail, it is the direct consequence of the presence of geraniol, a molecule present in large quantities in this wine.
Let’s start with the lightest and most delightful wines: Aleatico rosé. You can smell a forest (strawberries, raspberry, musk, mint, pine resin, thyme, and Mediterranean scrub), but is declined with great finesse. It is a whisper, not overbearing. Especially in the wines from Elba or the coast, clear scents of iodine are felt. On the palate, they are fresh wines, with delicate tannins, but never banal or only fruity and pleasant. The phrasing between saltiness and acidity is always stimulating and makes the sip clean, dry, easy.
Then there are the dry red wines, interesting wines, thanks to an elegant, ripe, floral and mineral bouquet. The structure is good, it is never flaccid or super jammy-overcooked: acidity and saltiness, although not exaggerated, manage to dialogue and give dynamism to the wine. The tannins are docile, never too green, since it is a grape that is late-ripening in Tuscany and therefore has time to reach a good balance.
And let’s end with passito, a true masterpiece, Aleatico dell’Elba. So the passito is warm, sumptuous, enveloping, with ripe fruit and strawberries in spirit with orange jam knocking on the door of the saltiness. Spices, aromatic herbs, pine, and mint resin, in a nutshell, it is a supernova of incredible perfumes. Spices, chocolate, coffee, and all the suggestions from wood aging are a nice frame. The flavor is velvety, sweet, but supported by an excellent freshness, pungent sapidity, and tannins that add tasty flavors of rhubarb and licorice that emerge in the finish. Try the vin santo occhio di Pernice dell’Elba.
History of the Aleatico grape
There are the most varied and picturesque theories on the origin of Aleatico: there are those who say it came from Greece, those who claim that it has always been one of the great autochthonous vines of Tuscany, and those who have shown that it is identical to Moscatello Nero and with Moscato Nero, and therefore also part of the great Moscati family.
Aleatico suggested food pairings
You can combine it with everything: from fish to shellfish, sushi to grilled meat and desserts. Rosé wines are excellent to accompany dishes based on fish, clams, mushrooms, truffle risotto. Dry Aleatico is excellent for souvlaki, ribs with BBQ sauce black truffle risotto, bucatini all’amatriciana, roast beef, and brisket. Raisin wines are excellent with cheesecake, chocolate tart, and apple pie.