Wine Wednesday: D'Angelo Aglianico del Vulture 2019

Partake in this robust and vivacious Aglianico wine from the volcanoes of southern Italy

Every Wednesday, we pick a wine to talk about—good, bad, ugly, or somewhere on the spectrum. Sometimes our wine of choice goes with what we’re reading, sometimes it’s a new favorite, sometimes it’s a perfect pairing for an upcoming holiday. Today: Aglianico del Vulture!

We’re still on our Italian kick—check back soon for a bigger post on all things Italian wine—and a delicious new (to us) find is the D’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture. When we say new to us, we really mean it. We hadn’t tried it until recently and didn’t know much about the Aglianico grape at all. We’ve been missing out!

Aglianico is a red grape native to southern Italy, known for producing full-bodied, dry, and robust wines—right up our alley. It’s so good that people call it the “Barolo of the South.” Young Aglianico wines tend to be highly tannic, but mellow over time and let the fruit and deeper flavors emerge. After a few years in a cellar, nuances of black cherry and dark chocolate, among others, surface—no wonder we like it so much!

Aglianico del Vulture is a DOCG designation (the highest designation you can get in Italy) for Aglianico wine in southern Italy’s Basilicata region. The grapes grow on and around Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano that dominates the region and provides rich, dark soil perfect for this grape.

Now, getting to our Wine Wednesday pick: D’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture. Yum! Another Costco bargain find, we scored it for $14.99, while various websites advertise it for $20+. And, honestly, it’d be worth it for $20 too. You breathe in the deep fruit aromas and the freshness immediately. The D’Angelo website notes:

The DOC entry wine of Casa Vinicola D’Angelo is Aglianico del Vulture, a delicious red to enjoy until the last sip. In the first years, this Aglianico wine may appear a little vivacious or even sharp, however, over time, as it refines in the bottle, it becomes more mellow and harmonious. It goes very well with all meat courses and flavourful or unsophisticated dishes.

Harvested exclusively by hand in mid-late October
Vinification traditional technique, 8-day maceration with the grape skins
Refinement 18 months in large barrels
Alcohol content 13.5%
Colour: Fairly intense ruby red, it turns to garnet as it ages
Bouquet: Berries, typical of this vine variety
Flavours: Dry, robust and fairly tannic. Over the years, it becomes more mellow and harmonious

Plus, this wine earned 90-91 points from various critics and landed at #49 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list, with this comment: “Compact and fresh, this medium- to full-bodied red reveals macerated black raspberry fruit accented by notes of dried sage, graphite, fig cake and mineral, with firm, dusty tannins. Let this open in the glass or decant ahead of time. Best from 2023 through 2029.”

Hmmm, so many ways we can go with this. Straight from the winemaker’s comment of “vivacious,” let’s start with our most vivacious characters:

 

You also might want to get into the Italian spirit with a book set in Italy (or with a fun Italian family):