Along with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, the late-ripening Aglianico grape is undoubtedly one of the great Italian red wine varieties. Often referred to as the Barolo of the South, this nickname is just a tip of the hat, but does indicate the grape’s ability to express its finesse and pedigree in a variety of unique vineyards.

Some of the most interesting bottlings are in the Vulture region of Basilicata, where vines are planted on the volcanic soil of the dormant volcano Monte Vulcan. Depending on the location of the vineyards on the slopes, the wines tend to be delicate and earthy (closer to the top) or lush and velvety (lower on the slope), with the wines from the middle vineyards offering the best of both worlds. Yet they all have the pronounced fractured mineral content typical of wines from volcanic soils.

Aglianico often gets better as it ages, but many of the ones on the market today are available immediately, with the potential to keep well.

Here are 12 recently reviewed bottles to look forward to.

Re Manfredi 2013 Serpara (Aglianico del Vulture Superiore); $53, 94 points. Rich aromas of truffles, violets, plums and cherries are dense on the nose of this red wine that spent 12 months in half new, half used oak. Huge luster and lace on the palate, with silky, seductive tannins enveloping all that luscious red fruit. But through it all, there is still plenty of energy thanks to the fresh acidity, making this a well-balanced and opulent red wine. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.-Alexandrowski Boom

Elena Fucci 2018 Titolo (Aglianico del Vulture); $58, 93 points. Lush aromas of violets, juniper, cherries and blackberries unfold in the nose. Juicy red cherry and blackberry flavors are medium-bodied and have plenty of energy, with notes of resin and pressed rose popping up on the finish. However, the full-bodied red fruits and tart, crushed mineral notes remain unchanged throughout the experience. The structure and balance of this wine make it enjoyable to drink now, but it will also keep until 2028. Enotec Imports, Inc. -A.P.

 

Grifalco 2015 Daginestra (Aglianico del Vulture Superiore); $32, 93 points. This red wine from the sixty-year-old vineyard in the village of Ginestra has a fragrant nose of cinnamon, cloves and cherries soaked in cognac. In the middle of the palate a juicy mix of berries with a mineral and acidic core. This mineral note adds tremendous dynamism and length to the whole. The velvety tannins give it an accessible appeal in the near future, but it should last until 2030. Soil Selection. Editor’s Choice. -A.P.

Paternoster 2016 Don Anselmo (Aglianico del Vulture); $70, 93 points. Aromas of cherry puree, pomegranate molasses, anise seed and blood orange lead to a rich but expertly balanced palate. There’s intense energy in the billowing red berry flavors, and minerality permeates while the polished tannins wrap everything up tightly. Drink now. OOO Vintus. -A.P.

Vigneti del Vulture 2016 Piano del Cerro (Aglianico del Vulture); $34, 92 points. Rich aromas of bacon fat, toasted anise and dark cocoa powder accompany the dense dark berry fruit in the nose. The flavor is rich and creamy, with concentrated blueberry and bilberry flavors enveloped in warm, muddy spice. The acidity is very present and the polished tannins give a nice polish. Drink now. Empson USA Ltd -A.P.

Basilisco 2017 Teodosio (Aglianico del Vulture); $22, 91 points. The aroma of brandy-soaked blueberries blends with a nose steeped in violets and truffles. The palate is quite full, with polished, rounded tannins supporting rich black fruit flavors. The lively acidity and stony core contribute to the energetic mood, making this a wine to enjoy with some age. Drinkable from 2022 to 2030. Vias Imports. – AP.

Cantin del Notayo 2013 La Firma (Grif de Allanico); 59, 91 points. Aromas of cinnamon, anise and rooibos mingle with wild cherries and raspberries in this red wine. The medium-bodied flavor is sweet with baked raspberry and cherry flavors accented by sweet, warm spice. The wine is well balanced, with polished tannins and fresh acidity, but should be drunk in the near future. Vinifer Imports. -A.P.

Musto Carmelitano 2015 Serra del Prete (Aglianico del Vulture); $24, 91 points. Wild blueberry aromas mingle with alpine herbs, violets and nori in this spicy red wine. Mature in stainless steel and cement, the palate is all about the fruit. Sweet aromas of red berries develop on entry and evolve into bright, juicy fruit notes. The well-crafted tannins lift it and the gravel element elevates it. This is a beautiful Aglianico that has nothing to hide. The choice of Polanian. -A.P.

Reggio Cantina 2017 Donpa (Aglianico del Vulture); $30, 91 points. On the nose, fragrant aromas of violets, fields and blood orange come together with a rich core of red cherries. The palate is polished and balanced, with a spicy mineral note. The soft tannins are enveloped by the fruit, so they will be available in the near future. To be drunk until 2028. 8 Vini, Inc. -A.P.

D’Angelo 2017 Aglianico del Vulture; $20, 90 points. Concentrated aromas of black raspberry, pomegranate, violets and freshly turned earth carry the nose of this rustic red. Light profile, with sour berry flavors enveloped by slightly grainy tannins. The delicious blend of juicy fruit and earthy notes is charming. Enjoy it at the table with lamb or game. Cantiniere Imports & Distributing, Inc. -A.P.

We recommend it:

Neoprene carrying case for 2 bottles of wine

Fusion Infinity Red Wineglass Collection (Set of 8)

Macarico 2018 Aglianico del Vulture; $30, 90 points. Lively and dynamic aromas of wild cherry and blueberry mingle with a touch of mint on the nose. The mouth is dominated by juicy acidity, the tannins are retained. The grip, energy and length are good, but ultimately this wine can be drunk in the near future. To drink to 2025. Skurnick Wines, Inc.

Cantina di Venosa 2018 Bali (Aglianico del Vulture); $14, 89 points. A good concentration of blackberry, wild cherry, violet and hibiscus aromas on the nose, with an enticing mix of fruit and earth elements. The medium-bodied palette is juicy with sour cherry and blackberry flavors, with nice floral accents on the sides. The tannins are indulgent, but supportive, while the bright acidity and zesty minerality set everything in motion. Bacchanal wine import. Best buy. -A.P.

frequently asked questions

How is the Barolo?

What is it? Barolo is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy. The wine is made from Nebbiolo, a small, thin-skinned red grape variety that is generally rich in acidity and tannin. … Barolo wine must be exclusively Nebbiolo, there are no exceptions.

What is a good Italian red wine?

2020/12/18 The best Italian red…

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