Al Paca

Seeing an Aglianico in California is so rare (although I did see a Greco di Tufo yesterday) you just HAVE to grab them. I didn’t have much hope for this one–horrible label, clearly mass-produced and rather inexpensive–but it is not *horrible*. A simple Friday quaffer containing plentiful interesting points and things to learn.There’s more education in a $12.99 bottle of wine like this than a year’s entirety of bling-bro’s non-stop Napa-cab and super-tuscan IG posts. But people don’t understand that. They want to learn about wine, “How do I learn about wine–it’s so confusing!!” and yet they refuse to drink real wines. This is real wine. No, it’s not a spectacular example of wine, but it is a spectacular example of the region, the variety, and just plain old serviceable italian red wine. Easily on par with some of Feudi or Mastroberardino’s offerings–also huge houses cranking out gobs of wine, this little negociant bottling from Surrupaca charms on a lot of levels, even though it’s, like, a YEAR old.

Light transparent purple in the glass, a nose not overly fruity, showing mostly rustic funk and bruised vegetal on light earth with sharp points of fruity light blossoming from deep behind. I actually expected it brighter–given its age–but here we have a big importer at work, assumably to create a more *user friendly* wine at incredible young age. See, with REAL producers of Aglianico in Campania–or Corvina in Bardolino is another great example–this wine would be virile and vibrant and green, smoky-fresh with the freshest fruit possible. Here we have something touching on sweet and feeling 2018 or 19 maybe tops.

Bitter and thick on the tongue, though bright with acid and graspy mineral. It’s chubby in a lot of places, but manages a startling fruit curl down through the finish. Tannin blows in last-minute after you have already decided it will be a rich-fruited finish, so there’s another great point. I love Aglianico. And they age ridiculously, though I wouldn’t put much pressure on this one.

2021 CANTINA DI SOLOPACA Aglianico Beneventano Solopaca IGP Campania Italy 12.5

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