D’Angelo, “Canneto” Aglianico del Vulture 2013 (about $25)

Italian Wine for april, 2019

The D’Angelo winery is a historic family estate in Rionero, a small town located high on the slopes of Monte Vulture in the northwestern part of the Basilicata region. While now extinct, Monte Vulture’s ancient volcanic lava flows have produced a rich and fertile soil that, along with the area’s high altitude and sunny climate, is the perfect habitat for growing wine grapes.

Aglianico is the dominant variety here and Aglianico wines from the Monte Vulture appellation have DOC status. The Aglianico variety shares many similarities with the prestigious Nebbiolo variety of the Piedmont region. Both are dark-colored, late-ripening varieties with marked acidic and tannic properties and produce firm, structured wines with complex aromas and flavors and good ageing potential. These similarities have earned the otherwise unassuming Aglianico wines the sobriquet “the Barolo of the South.”

But one area in which they part ways is in price. Because Aglianico wines from Monte Vulture are generally less well known and don’t share Barolo’s mantle of distinction, they are considerably less expensive and generally sell at prices about one-half to one-third that of most Barolos.

But the D’Angelo estate is working hard to raise the international profile of Aglianico del Vulture wines. The winery has approximately 87 acres under vine and lays claim to some of the oldest and most desirable vineyards on the slopes of the extinct volcano. Despite the fact that Basilicata is in Italy’s deep south, D’Angelo’s high-elevation vineyards allow for more concentration and complexity of flavors and the estate produces several highly-acclaim2013 "Canneto" Aglianico del Vulture from the D'Angelo winery in Basilicata.ed single-vineyard versions of Aglianico.

The estate’s “Canneto” is made entirely of Agliancio grapes harvested from 30 to 40-year-old vines grown in volcanic soil. The grapes undergo a medium-long 10-day maceration and the wine is then aged in barriques for 18 months followed by an additional 8 months in bottle prior to release for sale.

The 2013 “Canneto” Aglianico del Vulture is rich and generous. It has a ruby tending to brick red color with ripe black cherry and plum aromas accented with a whiff of cedar. It is full-bodied with mouth-drying tannins, high acidity and an enticing blend of black cherry and blackberry flavors with some coffee and black pepper notes. It has a long, generous finish infused with notes of black fruit and kitchen spices and the stuffing to age gracefully for another decade or more.

This wine would make an ideal companion at any dinner where grilled red meats, lamb, meat-based pasta dishes or Pecorino cheese are on the menu.


©Richard Marcis
April 4, 2019

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