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Aglianico is one of the lesser-known grapes that are almost exclusive to Southern Italy, the Campania and Basilicata regions. The wine is full-bodied, rusty and earth driven.
The younger Aglianico comes with a strikingly savoury flavour of leather, cured meat, black fruits and white pepper. As it ages, new soft aromas of dried figs and suntanned leather are developed. Overall, this wine definitely has an audience, although not nearly as big as other more popular red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Syrah.
It’s a common saying in Italy that the real magic of Aglianico only comes to those who are patient, and in fact, it’s true. Aglianico wines only gets better with age, and come into their best after 10 or so years. What used to be the firm tannic structure and enamel removing acidity has turned into softer lush layers of dried floral aromas and sweetened fruit with slightly spiced and savoury flavors.
The grape easily holds up to new oak aging and modern wine making techniques that turn Aglianico’s striking wildness into a ripe and rich wine with low acidity and modest alcohol content. While this modern style Aglianico is not as expressive, it’s surely more pleasant to drink.
The wine goes well with rich meats with lots of fat content that absorb the astringency of Aglianico’s structure. If you feel like something a little bit healthier, black bean and soy sauces will finely mix with the flavour of the wine. If you feel like trying something new and discovering new savoury flavours, Aglianico is a must!
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