Beautiful bright clear ruby garnet. There’s a smoky property to Aglianico that does not come from barrel-aging. In fact, the winemakers in Taurasi insist on careful no-ox handling of the fruit to preserve this quality–some of it in straight SS–and frankly, *preserving a smoky quality* is something I was a bit taken aback to in regards to early fruit handling. Full and round in the nose, fruit a muddled stew with bright briar, butterscotch and lavender, nacho cheese and mesquite, piquant and sharp with cranberry and licorice but a dull jellied aura to it all.
This is one of those grapes the Italians play around with–not horribly unlike Corvina–which should be on every American’s table day-in and day-out. The big fat chubby elegant *Kings of Grapes* get all the pub and for the light/bright category, Cab Franc and Gamay get the cool ink, but I’m tellin you folks: It’s time for an Aglianico Revolution. This is one of the most perfect varieties out there.
In the mouth, cool vibrant berry all over Manhattan. Bristling with luscious cherry and tangy raspberry, a dark goth note invades early on, turning the cherry to black while raising the hackles on your tongue with the kind of acidity and structure Cru Bojo and Chinon fantasize about. The leathery appeal polishes out elegantly over the middle–NOWHERE does anything go raspingly horrific or cloyingly puffed–the absolute PUREST expression of fruit and dry grating balance you can imagine.
But the finish is the best part. One part leather, three parts sandpaper, nine parts hair-raising cherry, THIS is the red wine you’re looking for. I know when I post a strange variety or a California *resurgence* variety literally only 1% of the ONE PERCENT take notice, and I’m OK with that–some men you just can’t reach–but this is wine that will CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. I want to take some of this back to my friends in Campania so they can see we aren’t all stupid over here. This stuff is on par with the best of the boutique producers and makes Feudi and Mastroberardino look like Meomi. This is geeky-ass shit boys & girls. And you should pay attention.
2015 WEST OF TEMPERANCE Aglianico California 13.8