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Aglianico × 3

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Irpinia 2011, Rubrato, Feudi di San Gregorio ($22.45, 12476680)
100% Aglianico. Macerated and fermented for two to three weeks in stainless steel tanks. Matured eight to ten months also in stainless steel tanks. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Italvine.
Cherry, slate, leather, spice, blackberry yogurt. Structured but medium-bodied and surprisingly fluid. The firm tannins and bright acidity are balanced by the dark, faintly juicy fruit. Volcanic minerals tinge the mid-palate and last well into the finish. Moreish though it needs an hour or two in the carafe to uncoil. Modern but in a good way. The SAQ used to stock several of Feudi’s wines and this bottling shows why it’s great to have them back. (Buy again? Done!)

Aglianico del Vulture 2009, Piano del Cerro, Vigneti del Vulture (Farnese) ($27.40, 12015470)
100% Aglianico from the Acrenza area. The grapes are gently destemmed. Maceration and fermentation in small wood vats with four manual pump-overs a day last 25 to 30 days. Matured in new oak barriques for 24 months. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Montalvin.
Cassis liqueur, shoe leather, black olives and mocha. Full-bodied and, due to the combination of super-ripe fruit and heavy oak treatment, sweet (“the better to cover the rubber,” noted one taster). Spice and minerals are there but only if you look for them. The tannins are plush, the acidity downplayed. Creamy vanilla oak dominates the finish. Cloying and unrefreshing. The style may be popular – the Montreal allocation sold out fast and there’s very little left in the province – but it’s not one I find appealing in the slightest. (Buy again? No.)

IGP Basilicata Rosso 2012, Antelio, Camerlengo ($25.60, 11951961)
Contrary to what you’ll read on, this is neither a DOC wine nor the estate’s flagship (that honour falls to the eponymous Aglianico del Vulture, which is available through the private import channel). 100% organically farmed Aglianico from the Rapolla area. Manually harvested. Fermented with native yeasts and macerated for 25 days. Matured in 50-hl Slavonian oak botte. Unfiltered and unfined. Lightly sulphured at bottling to increase stability during transportation. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
With its vinegary aromas and sharp taste, the bottle at the tasting seemed off. That it was was confirmed by a pristine and delicious second bottle purchased and opened a few days later: a fragrant, medium-bodied wine whose black currant and blackberry fruit is veined with obsidian and Drum tobacco, framed by tart acidity and fine, drying tannins and sustained through the long, savoury finish. A perennial favourite in fine form in 2012. (Buy again? Done!)

MWG March 12th tasting: flight 5 of 7.

Written by carswell

May 7, 2015 at 12:50

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