I seldom get bored with wine, or drinking wine, writing about wine, doing wine research! But on rare occasions when I have to make an effort to post to the blog or crank out a newspaper column, I scratch my head and wonder why I do all this work for no pay.
Then I discover something new or really good and none of the above matters at all.
It was Aglianico from Ocono Winery, 2003, and it was dynamic Italian wine. Aglianico is grown in Southern Italy and dates back to the 6th Century B.C. Supposedly, I learned, the grape made its way to Italy by the Greeks.
The wine has a nose of dark cherry fruit, a hint of coffee or a musty sense to it. It’s rich but refined. In the glass, it reminded me a bit of a Pinot Noir by its look and well-balanced taste characteristics but its definitely a medium to bigger bodied wine.
This is a big ol’ mouthful of dirt for those who like earthy wines or “terrior.”
I was pleasantly surprised by the balance, the smooth tannins and even a hint of mineral in this luscious red wine.
It is a lighter style wine as the color indicates. But it’s a wonderful change of pace from the standard Sangiovese-based Italian wines.
I paid $17 for this wine but, if you can find it, $14-$19 is the usually range.
Aglianico is a signature grape in Southern Italy. It was wonderful with a mild pasta dish and some chocolate. This is a surprisingly flavorful wine that will let you know it’s Italian but do it with a gentle hand, not a club.
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