5 Great Winter Reds
Five wines to explore this winter
Aglianico is one of Italy's great red wines, though it has remained pretty much an insider's wine for years. In fact for years it’s been the ‘next great thing’ from Italy, yet has never managed to really break through to the mainstream. That may be due to the wine’s rather stern quality, tannic, acidic and oftentimes hard in it’s youth. With age the best of these wines blossom to reveal powerful dark cherry fruit with notes of bitter chocolate and black spices adding detail. Today producers have learned to tame the sheer power of Aglianico, and are producing wines that have a much more velvety texture and more approachable nature than ever before. These are wines that are great with game meats, and dishes that are rich with the flavors of bacon!
Mourvedre is most commonly associated with the powerful wines of Bandol, though it is an important component in blended wines through the Southern Rhone and Languedoc regions of France. Gamy, spicy and meaty, it produces wines with some rough, grippy tannins and fine animal perfumes that can be off putting to some palates. When they are well made though they are rich, rugged wines that speak of both the warmth of their homeland as well as their peasant origins, planted as they so often are on marginal, poor soil plots. Mourvedre continues to be a blending grape in many ways, but one that leaves an indelible mark on their wines. Powerful, black fruited, plummy and decidedly earthy in character.