Postcard From Sannio, Part 2: Aglianico del Taburno


The post Postcard From Sannio, Part 2: Aglianico del Taburno appeared first on 1 Wine Dude.

Ocone's awesome marketing art

This is part two of a three-part series covering my media jaunt last year to Sannio, in Italy’s southern region of Campania. For part one, we focused on the region’s signature white (Falanghina). Today, we’re going to highlight Sannio’s signature red, Aglianico del Taburno. And we will also mention Chuck Norris (more on that in a few minutes).

In the best spots where Aglianico is grown in Sannio, you can feel the cooling breeze brought in by the nearby mountains, which helps to mitigate the other thing that you can feel: the strong sunlight, courtesy of a relatively dry part of Italy. This makes for a harvest that the winemakers here described to me as “very, very long,” sometimes heading into November. In that sense, Aglianico hangs for a rather long time on the vine in Sannio, developing enough phenolic ripeness to rival the reds of Barolo and giving rise to Aglianico’s nickname of “The Nebbiolo of the South.”

But as is so often the case in an historic wine region, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Aglianico’s history is an interesting, and fittingly, rather long one.

Aglianico is presumed to have come from Greexe, but modern DNA evidence has apparently put the kibosh on that presumption. We do know that in the 1500s, it was referred to as the wine of the Popes, given that Paolo III took a particular liking to the wines made from it, lending it some aristocratic prestige. IN the late 1500s, Andrea Bacci (the scholar and naturalist, not the race car driver) cited Aglianico’s robustness. So it’s probably always been a bit of a tannic monster.

That hardiness helped it travel well without spoiling, and in the 1800s this coincided with the great expansion of railroads in southern Italy, making Aglianico a popular red outside of the region during a time when nearby Naples was one of Europe’s most important cities for trade.

Aglianico del Taburno achieved DOC status in the 1980s, and DOCG status in 2011; its Rosato category is the first such DOCG in all of Italy. Traditionally aged in chestnut, that practice is falling out of favor as it adds bitterness to an already pretty bitter palate. The soils where Aglianico is planted in Taburno are clay, calcareous, and volcanic, a combination thought to emphasize the grape’s prominent fruit and spice notes.

In the mood for some fine, big-ass, robust reds? Well, my friend, you have come to the right place. Here are some highlights from my Aglianico del Taburno tastings:


2021 Cantine Tora ‘Lady Pink’ Aglianico del Taburno Rosato, Campania, $NA

Roses, cherries, wild herbs, raspberries… If Aglianico has an elegant streak, it is most likely to be found in Rosato wines like the aptly named Lady Pink. While the color is predictably deep and dark for Rosato, the palate is refined, fruity, and carries just a hint of structure.


2022 Ocone Aglianico del Taburno Rosato, Campania, $NA

This delicately poised and floral Rosato is cherry-laden, sporting hints of dried rose petals, pomegranate, and red berries. While the nose is delicate, the palate turns things on a dime and goes fruity and powerful, but thankfully never really loses its sense of refinement.


2019 Fattoria La Rivolta Aglianico del Taburno, Campania, $27

This serious red is a stunner, and a bargain for under $30. Cloves, leather, funk, cola, blackberries, violets… complexity and power rule the day here on the nose. The palate is full bore, too, with potent, rich, spicy dark fruitiness. It’s chewy, still young, and thoroughly well-made.


2019 Cantine Iannella ‘Giova Iannella’ Aglianico del Taburno, Campania, $NA

The roses are there, but they are less prominent in this concentrated, meaty red. As powerfully built as this red-fruited monster feels, the impeccable palate roundness is incredibly inviting, showing that this producer has really tamed Aglianico’s structure into something deliciously approachable now.

crowd pleaser

2017 Cantina del Taburno ‘Delius’ Aglianico del Taburno, Campania, $28

Dried blackberry, cherry, balsamic, and a tangy feel are part of the charm of this red from one of the region’s co-op producers. There’s some great leather action going on on the nose and on the palate, and a chewy mouthfeel that is practically screaming for hamburgers.


2017 Fontanavecchia ‘Vigna Cataratte’ Aglianico del Taburno Riserva, Campania, $NA

Remember I said we’d be mentioning Chuck Norris? Well, picture Chuck in his prime adorned with a headband and brandishing an Uzi in each hand, and you will have captured the soul of this dark, spicy, forceful red. Black fruit, black tea, and black leather move to a palate that’s as savory, mineral, and delicious as it is tannic. FORZA!!


2014 Ocone ‘Vigna Pezza La Corte’ Aglianico del Taburno, Campania, $NA

This is a gorgeous red. A spicy, meaty nose kicks things off, sporting dried rose petal, and black cherry. And let me tell you, in the mouth this MFer is mineral, with a balanced presentation that’s equal parts tangy, fruity, long, round, and lovely. It’s Barry-White-album levels of sexy.


Upscale your palate! My books are available from Rockridge Press!

Copyright © 2023. Originally at Postcard From Sannio, Part 2: Aglianico del Taburno from 1WineDude.com
– for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Source : https://www.1winedude.com/postcard-from-sannio-part-2-aglianico-del-taburno/