Aglianico is one of the Italian grapes that I’ve been pretty excited about the last few years. It’s a unique variety that flourishes in its homeland and we’ve been seeing more and more examples of it on US shelves as time goes on. And while our history of Aglianico in the US is pretty short, its story in Italy dates back a couple of thousand years. Today I’ll look at one from long time producer Mastroberardino. The Mastroberardino 2005 Radici Taurasi was produced using fruit sourced from two vineyards. These vineyards sit approximately 1,800 feet above sea level. This offering is 100% Aglianico. Fermentation took place over 15 days in stainless steel tanks. Aging took place in barriques and casks of varying size and age. French and Slavonian oak were both employed; new, 2 year and 3 years barrels were all part of the program. 80,000 bottles (approximately 6,600 cases) of this wine were produced. It has a suggested retail price of $65 and is currently available at WineChateau.com for less than $46.00.
Aromas of leather, wild strawberry and cigar box fill the intoxicating nose of this 2005 Aglianico. Dried fruit flavors, both red and black, dominate the palate of this wine. Raspberry, cherry, strawberry and a hint of blackberry are all present. Hints of tobacco leaf underscore things. The finish shows off sour fruits, black pepper, rhubarb and a veritable avalanche of earth notes. This wine has medium tannins and firm acidity.
This is a classic example of Aglianico and as is the case with the majority of great Italian wine, it wants to be paired with food. Hard cheeses, pasta dripping with your grandmas red sauce and roasted meats are all examples of food that will pair terrifically with this wine and allow it to express al its charms. If you like Aglianico, give this one a shot.