Aglianico del Vulture is a thick skinned red grape variety. It was once considered to be Greek in origin, although the latest studies suggest that it could have been a natural crossing that predates arrival of Ancient Greek settlers.
Aglianico del Vulture is a red grape variety grown in the Monte Vulture of Basilicata. It is considered to be a biotype of Aglianico grown in Campania and Puglia. It is utilised in the Aglianico del Vulture DOC and the Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG classifications.
Aglianico is traditionally a still red wine. There is an increasing number of rosato wines being made from the grape. Some producers such as Vigne Mastrodomenico also produce a sweet passito wine from the variety. There is a also a movement of producers experimenting with traditional method sparkling wines. These are made in a Blanc de Noirs style.
Aglianico del Vulture produces wines with fragrant notes of violet, balsam and black cherry. It is often medium to full bodied with prominent acidity. In areas where there is a strong amount of volcanic soil the wines can give a feeling of minerality.
Aglianico and Aglianico del Vulture have long been compared to Nebbiolo, in fact the wine was frequently called ‘the Barolo of the South’ in an attempt to promote it. With its popularity on the rise the comparison is less useful. While there are similarities with the fact that both Aglianico and Nebbiolo ripen late (one of the last few to ripen in Italy) and that the wines can show distinctive floral aromas, there are many differences.
The best of examples of Aglianico from Basilicata are capable of ageing for a decade and possibly even longer. Typically these wines are matured in wood before release. There are many examples aged in stainless steel and released young and these are generally at the best between two and four years from the vintage.
There are a number of very good wines made in the Vulture area of Basilicata. In the last decade or so Cantine del Notaio have flown the flag for the region with their ‘La Firma’ and ‘Il Sigilo’ bottlings. Paternoster (now part of the Veneto’s Tommasi Estates) produce the iconic ‘Don Anselmo’. One of the major international success stories in recent years is Elena Fucci’s ’Titolo’ while Vigne Mastrodomenico’s ‘Likos’ and the Musto Carmelitano family’s single vineyard wines are also important benchmarks for the variety.