I’ve read that one of the best ways to really learn wine is to develop a good relationship with a local wine shop to get good tips on what to buy. I’ve been patronizing one local shop for quite a few years and have built up a good repor with the owner. The other night I was in and he handed this bottle and asked me to give it a try. Needless to say I was pretty excited for the chance to try out something new and give some advice on what I thought.
Campania is a region well known for its beautiful scenery but the wine produced here is often underrated compared to Tuscany or Piemonte (Piedmont). The obscure grape, Aglianico, is probably the best known grape in the region creating a high tannin rustic wine. Today’s wine contains 30% Algianico and I’d assume this is to add greater body to the Montepulciano (70%).
I decanted this wine for around 45 minutes before trying because I knew it was young and would benefit from being opened prior to sampling.
Look: In the glass this wine is deep red in colour but also heavily hued purple, quite opaque and dense to the rim. This is a very young wine and with time I’m sure it will turn to more of a ruby red than purple.
Smell: This wine is moderately aromatic with sweet jammy berry fruit aromas, red cherry, and more savoury aromas of olives. Along with this fruit there is aromas of sweet flowers (violets), savoury herbs, hints of potting soil (wet minerally dirt) and high amounts of balsamic vinegar. I’m really not a fan of overpowering balsamic aroma in my wine but was pleased that with time this subdued. In terms of aroma there is a good amount of depth which I can only assume would get better with some age.
Taste: This wine is medium to full bodied, has very soft tannins (surprising considering the high tannin Aglianico in the blend), and tart acidity. The flavour of the wine is more tart with sour cherries and green olive, a little bit of earthy herb, and a light amount of spice. The finish is long with the tart acidity sticking through along with some chocolate, baking spices, and some toasted oak peppery spice. I’ll have to try the wine again at some point to reaffirm this but I feel compared to the aromas the taste is rather lacking, not unpleasant, but not nearly as complex as the wine starts out.
Conclusion: I like trying unfamiliar wines and regions because it teaches me to think outside the box and develop a wider tasting palate. This wine falls into both those categories and I’m glad I had a chance to try it. 2014 was a difficult year for grape growing in Italy but this producer has still come out with a good wine. I think it is still quite young and would do better with a couple years of aging to develop more. I’m giving it a 8.0/10 but would expect after a couple years it would do even better. I would definitely like to try their 100% Aglianico sometime.
- Montepulciano (70%) Aglianico (30%)
- Campania, Italy IGT
- 2014 – 12%
- Cantine Faliesi Arbosto Rosso
- Sample submitted for review
- Composite cork
Follow my blog on Facebook for updates