apparently from Teverola commune, Campania, Italy, 13.5% ABV
imported by North Berkeley Imports; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 12 Dec, and I believe only at the Berkeley store
I picked this up in my usual habit of eagerly grabbing unknown Italian wines, or at least unknown to me. The only Aglianico (roughly “ahl-YAH-nee-koe”, grown mostly around the “ankle of the boot” of Italy) reviewed here was DLuber’s review of the 2011 Caminetto, about which he was not very excited. And other recent imports from NBI have seemed a bit past their prime. However, probably because it is made from a pretty tough grape, this wine is quite good, although it needs extended airing.
The wine steward had warned me that this wine was better the next day. When I opened it, and tasted the nice complex dark fruits and spice, I thought he must have been mistaken. But it quickly shut down, and did not promise much opening up even after 2.5 hours in a decanter. Needing something to go with dinner, I covered my decanter and opened a wine that needed little air. I came back to the wine the next day, and was initially disappointed because it seemed like it hadn’t budged much, only acquiring a slight over-ripe character. However, after having the decanter open for another 45 – 60 minutes, this wine finally opened up quite nicely.
The fully aired wine showed full-bodied fruit of tangy dark red cherry, purple plum with a touch of prune, brown leather / earth / maybe tobacco, violets / dark roses, maybe some dried orange peel. The wine’s texture is thickly tannic throughout, maybe halfway to the level of a Madiran? The tannins made it not the most elegant wine, but it’s nicely complex and tasty. I may get another bottle, although this time, I’ll just put it in a covered decanter for a day before I want to drink it, and uncover the decanter a little before dinner.