Everything you need to know about Aglianico

by Redazione Fine Taste

Aglianico is a vine particularly widespread in southern Italy and originates from Greece. It is considered one of the best grape varieties in Southern Italy and is slowly gaining popularity outside its homeland.

Characteristics of Aglianico

Aglianico is a red grape variety and one of the oldest native vines in Italy. Its presence is mainly limited to Southern Italy, particularly Campania and Basilicata, where it can thrive in optimal conditions thanks to the dry climate and numerous hours of sunshine.

It is one of the late-ripening vines and the harvest phase often lasts until November. The skin of the grapes is relatively thick and rich in tannins and colored pigments.

Aglianico is intense red in color and often has such an abundance of tannins that it appears "very rough" in its youth and therefore needs the right years of aging and maturity to round out and give its best. Thanks to its average alcohol content (around 12-12.5% ​​vol.), Aglianico is not heavy, but rather velvety, with an elegant character that places it well above the average of Southern Italian red wines.

Aglianico tasting

The color of Aglianico wine is intense red, the heterogeneous aromas ranging from the bouquet of plums, to chocolate and dark berries such as blackcurrants, morello cherries and cranberries.

On the palate you can feel the firm but well-measured tannins, a long and intense finish of great elegance.

The characteristics of Aglianico are therefore particularly appreciated by wine lovers who are looking for something special.

Aglianico production specifications

According to the specification of origin, the DOC Aglianico del Vulture must be 100% single-variety, while both the DOCG Taurasi and the DOC Aglianico del Taburno allow quotas of up to 15% of other regional vines.

The wines of Taurasi and Aglianico del Vulture spend at least three years in wooden barrels or barriques after vinification before being put on the market after a short period of refinement in the bottle.

A high-quality Aglianico wine offers considerable aging potential and can be stored for years without problems; this characteristic combined with its notable depth of character places it on a par with the most elegant wines of Northern Italy. It is not for nothing that Aglianico del Vulture has earned the nickname "Barolo of the South".

Regions known for the production of Aglianico

Aglianico red wine is typically grown on steep mountain or volcanic soils in Southern Italy.

Since Aglianico has excellent hardiness and unique physical properties, it may be the right grape to grow in certain extreme conditions where other grape cultivation appears to be difficult. Let's take a look at these regions of Aglianico in detail:

Taurasi, Campania

In this area the grapes are smaller and less vigorous than the traditional Aglianico grape. They are cylindrical-conical in shape.

Vulture, Basilicata

The wines produced in this region are Aglianico del Vulture and Aglianico del Vulture Superiore. The vines are grown on the volcanic soils of nearby Monte Vulture.

Taburno, Campania

Taburno DOC is produced in the Taburno area, in Campania, west of Benevento. It is composed of two groups of limestone mountains separated by a plain. Taburno DOC is currently a sub-area of ​​the Sannio DOC label. Aglianico grapes grown here are typically more acidic and ripen more quickly.

How to best enjoy and combine Aglianico?

Gastronomic pairings

Aglianico pairs best with very tasty and fat-rich foods, thanks to its acidity and astringency which contrast with the flavor of the dishes. It goes without saying that it is perfect with cured meats, cheeses, tasty first courses and roast or stewed meats.

Serving temperature of Aglianico

It is recommended to serve it in large glasses and at a temperature of 18-20 degrees. In this way the aromas will be enhanced and the tannins attenuated.

Taste our Aglianico del Vulture, Tre Bicchieri del Gambero Rosso sixteen times! You can find it here