It’s not so bad right? While in quarantine, there’s the internet, movies, puzzles, games…and I’m sure many have a “honey-do” list that just never seems to get done, despite our best efforts! However, reading about COVID-19 around every turn, might not be so fun either…
I focused on France these last two days, and now it’s time to pay tribute to my beloved Italy. My heart goes out to all my friends dealing with “new normal” over there, and whatever I can find to read, I do so to keep up with what’s going on. The world will miss Vinitaly this year; we’ll see you in April 2021.
Aglianico is one of Italy’s most ancient grapes and it’s found in the Southern part of the country. Although it’s also grown in Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia and Calabria, it’s the regions of Campania and Basilicata where the most famous aglianico come from. With the famous Taurasi and Taburno of Campania and the Aglianico di Vulture Superiore, there are many producers with some stunning aglianico wine out there!
Basilicata is a region not known for industry or wealth, but more for farming and traditional winemaking; wines being made the same way from generation to generation. Today, there’s a new wave of young winemakers coming out of Basilicata that are eager to combine both traditional and modern winemaking and share their wines with the world. They are getting out into the market and telling all of us about their beautiful region of Basilicata and the amazing wines made from aglianico! It’s a grape with great ageing potentional – up to 30+ years, often being referred to as the “Barolo of the South”. But aglianico has its own personality and flavour profile and can (& should) stand on its own without being compared to its famous counterpart, nebbiolo. Pay attention, because when you buy an aglianico, you’ll get quality and ageability, but at a fraction of the price.
Tonight’s wine is the Messer Oto from Cantine Madonna delle Grazie. Paolo is one of those young vintners who loves to share his love for the land, including showing you different examples of dirt from the various and different plots! 🙂
For under 20 bucks CAD, this is a truly drinkable aglianico that has those traditional dark plummy, black cherry fruit flavours, with some savoury Italian herbs and that volcanic soil minerality, but with smoother tannins. This wine is a great introduction to aglianico if you’ve never had it before! (BTW, Madonna delle Grazie makes a white aglianico – just fermenting the juice. It’s beautiful and that fresh minerality and high acidity would be a great pairing to any chicken or pork dish…with mushrooms!) Seriously good wine. Seriously…go find some aglianico and put it in your isolation rotation!
Paolo, if you’re reading, know that there are many on the other side who are thinking of you, hoping and praying for your region and your country to find the way back to society as you know it! Salute Basilicata and andrá tutto bene…
Always good to dedicate a post and send a message to a winemaker you know. I have none in Italy but plenty in France, especially Burgundy. Stay safe!