Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Sacred Vines of the Basilicata with D'Angelo Aglianico

The Basilicata in my opinion is one of the lesser known and traveled to destinations for many and this week our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group is going to expose one of it’s greatest achievements in winemaking for the region, the grape aglianico. 

The region of Basilicata is located in southern Italy surrounded by the regions of Puglia to the east, Campania to the north and Calabria to the south.  It touches both the Gulf of Taranto as part of the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea.  It’s one of the mountainous, if not the most mountainous region in southern Italy with Monte Vulture being a geological highlight of the area’s terrain.  This volcanic area is actually where many of the great aglianico wines originate from known as Aglianico del Vulture.

Aglianico is a grape I discovered some years back and although I don’t have a chance to sample it too often is one that has grown to become one of my favorites.  It was brought to the region of the Basilicata back around the 6th and 7th century by the Greeks.  The name is believed to derive from the word Hellenic or Ellenico.  You’ll also find this grape produced in the region of Campania.  Many call this grape and the wines it produces the “Barolo of the South”, but I say appreciate it for what it is without comparison to others and enjoy!  These wines tend to have high acidity with firm to gripping tannins with plenty of depth, complexity, dark fruits and aging potential.  

The D’Angelo winery is located on about 86 self owned acres where they produce about 300,000 bottles annually.  The D’Angelo SacraVite wine is labeled as a Basilicata IGT making it more affordable around the $14-15 price point, but without skimping on quality.   Sacra Vite stands for sacred vine and is what the D'Angelo winery prides itself on, which is working with the aglianico grape for over a century.  
2013 D'Angelo Sacravite Aglianico Basilicata
The 2013 D'Angelo SacreVite aglianico is aged for a few months in Slavonian oak barrels and is produced in a softer, more approachable way to try aglianico.  It’s made of 100% of the aglianico grape.  On the nose I picked up plenty of dark berries.  Full bodied that is rustic with plums and juicy dark berries combined with some fresh acidity and a lingering finish.  Since this is a young aglianico, and with all aglianico wines, you'll want to decant them.  

Join the Italian Food, Wine & Travel Group as we dive deep into wines made from the Aglianico grape. This Saturday March 3, our posts will all be live and we’ll be chatting about our discoveries. Join us on Twitter Saturday March 3 at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT.
Take a look at all the great ideas our group will be posting: