Caparone - 2003 Aglianico

Aglianico is one of those grape varietals that a lot of people aren't familiar with. It's mostly Aglianicofound in Southern Italy, but plantings are cropping up in other parts of the world. Most notably it's being planted in Australia and California. Caparone Winery in Paso Robles California established the first American planting of Aglianico in the United States in 1988. An interesting article about their work with Aglianico and other Italian varietals can be found on their website.

The 2003 Caparone Aglianico is available, as are all their wines, for $14.00.  It opens with a heady nose of black cherry fruit. The first sip reveals readily apparent but not overwhelming oak. The mid-palate is full of earthiness and a plethora of spices. There is a muskiness to this wine that adds weight to the mouthful. The long finish is highlighted by smoke and pepper notes.

This Aglianico is impeccably balanced with good acidity. As stated oak is readily apparent but doesn't detract from the fruit at all. It drinks fine on it's own, but the Caparone wines are built for food. Also like the other wines the Caparone's make this Aglianico is built for the long term. I'd expect the earthiness on this one to increase with some age. For $14.00 you're going to have a hard time doing better.