My love for Aglianico is well-documented on these pages, but this is an odd, perhaps flawed wine. Fairly rosy garnet in the glass, with more prominent brick at the rim. A toe-jam sort of eucalyptus greets the nose, burying rotund fruit possibly suffering from slight oxidation, but the spicy vegetal masks all. Smelling quite un-fresh, the eucalyptus dominates all–and not in a good way. Decanted heavily–to no avail.

It tastes a MILLION times better than it smells, and if you don’t put much weight in bouquet–or are serving to people who hold the globe and don’t smell their wines–this will be a winner. Rich restrained berry flows ripe and sharp briar injects plenty of European stamina to the mouthfeel. Beautiful cherry and raspberry are full and round–invigorated with copious acid–and black pepper melts perfectly with the savory patina of slight age. Brilliantly tannic: the finish smooths and caresses the berry and bluster in perfect thin-ish balance.

But I can’t get past the nose.

2016 REGIO CANTINA ‘Donpa’ Aglianico del Vulture DOC Campania Italy 14.5

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