The Puglian Job, Part II

Aglianico: The next greatest unknown wines of Italy

Top 6 Aglianico tasted

Puglian Blends

2007 L’Astore
75% Aglianico, 25% Petite Verdot
$NA, $25 in Italy
This is remarkably complex on the nose, with perfumed floral tones over lightly peppery black fruits all framed with hints of leather and soil. Beautifully textured in the mouth with bright, juicy acids and powerful but refined tannins. Even with this power this remains rather light on its feet with gorgeous black fruits, spices and finesse on the finish. 94pts

Antica Enotria
2007 Dieci Ottobre
Aglianico, Nero di Troia 50/50
Olive and black currant jam aromas are underpinned by smoky, spicy, soil-tinged notes. This is massive and deep-smelling. Beautifully textured, with very present tannins lending a really firm texture yet perfectly balanced by the intensity of the precise black fruits. Nicely herbal-edged in the mouth and onto the lightly spicy finish, which remains tense, poised and succulent.  93pts

La Marchese
2009 Cacc’ e Mmitte

Very seductively aromatic with some wood notes lending a cedary base on which violet, spiced plum, and wild cherry fruits build. The high acid entry is followed by a wave of tannins, though the intensely aromatic fruit handles it well. This is powerful and yet so precise, with juicy wild cherry fruit topping the formidable structure through the long finish. 92pts

2007 Rarum
Negroamaro/ Malvasia Nera 50/50
Tarry on the nose with noticeable VA; hugely spicy with notes of cloves and mace accenting the dried cherry and date fruit. Sweet on entry yet well balanced with an elegant mid-palae and long, complex finish of dried fruit and spice tones. 91pts

2008 Metiusco Rosso Passito
25% Malvasia Nera, 50% Negroamaro, 20% Montepulciano, 5% Primitivo
Sweet-smelling with nicely complex aromas of almond, coffee, fig, cherry and leather. A touch sweet in the mouth but really juicy with nice tannic cut across the palate that prevents the spicy, lightly jammy strawberry and cherry fruit from becoming cloying. The finish is long, complex and spiced. This looks like it can improve with age. 91pts

Masseria l’Astore
2005 L’Argentieri

70% Negroamaro, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
$NA, $18 in Italy
Insidious green herbal notes underlie the spicy, lead pencil and cinnamon-flecked black fruit tones. Big, smooth and polished with a gentle bitterness on entry that leads to a mid-palate full of black currant and bitter cherry fruit. The texture in the mouth is very fine though drying tannins appear on the finish. Ageworthy? 90pts

2009 Metiusco Salento Rosso

25% Malvasia Nera, 50% Negroamaro, 20% Montepulciano, 5% Primitivo
Aromatic if medicinal on the nose, with notes of beet root and tomato leaf over light red fruits. Quite herbal. Powerful in the mouth with intense dark red fruits and peppery overtones all topped with a touch of licorice. A lot of youthful wine. 90pts

Cantine Ferri
2008 Ebrius

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Primitivo
$NA, $8 in Italy
Lightly minty on the nose with spicy, herbal-toned black currant fruit. Nice on entry with a fine bed of tannins that extends through the moderately long finish. The tannins give this a nicely austere feel and the fruit builds nicely in the mouth with both black and red berry tones. Elegant, well balanced and structured. 90pts

Cantine Ferri
2008 Rubeo
Uva di Troia/Bombino Nero
Spicy on the nose with nicely complex fruit tones. Smooth and fruity in the mouth with a nice fresh feel and good depth to the dark fruit. This has nice cut in the mouth with a touch of rosé on the moderately long finish that firms up considerably. 89pts

Antiche Aziende Canosine
2007 Aufidus

65% Uva di Troia, 35% Montepulciano
Clear and clean on the nose with light stemmy spice and a touch of mineral charcoal over fresh wild berry fruits. Bright in the mouth with edgy acids supporting rich black fruits. The balance here is very attractive, keeping this refreshing and easy to drink. 89pts

Terre Federiciane
2007 delle Vigne

70% Nero di Troia, 30% Montepulciano
Spicy on the nose with lots of fruit but some raw wood tones as well. This turns really smoky with air. Round with wood sweetness lending a softness on the palate. This is packed with fruit and has huge acids keeping everything fresh but finishes a bit short. Some time will help the well managed wood to integrate here. 89pts

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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: PELLEZZANO
    512238 55

    Before arriving in Puglia the grape aglianico was introduced in Campania by the Greeks maybe 1,500 years ago.
    You should dedicate, later one, some lines to the wines of Campania.


    Jan 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM

  • As most of the wines you mentioned are N/A in the U.S, there are several CA. producers of Aglianico. You can search for "california aglianico producers". Some that I know of are Caparone in Paso Robles (there seem to be 3 others in Paso), VJB in Sonoma Valley & Montevina in Amador County.

    Jan 17, 2011 at 9:48 PM

  • Snooth User: hhotdog
    Hand of Snooth
    78705 465

    great stuff here always i love the history and stories abut the wines. 2008 Metiusco Rosso Passito sounds right up my alley. can't wait for the next round!!

    Jan 17, 2011 at 11:22 PM


    Jan 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM

  • Snooth User: bropaul
    268864 97

    I had my first chance to visit Puglia in September. Since it was September and we were on the coast, it was mostly white wine. I had my first taste of both bombino bianco and malvasia di Trani - any chance you willl be reporting on the white wines too?

    Jan 18, 2011 at 10:55 AM

  • Been enjoying an inexpensive blend (neprica) from Tormaresa in Puglia. Makes a great table wine. 40% negromaro, 30% primitivo and 30% cab. The recent batch of articles on Puglia have been quite interesting.


    Jan 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM

  • this is a wonderfully instructive article highlighting some of the best producers in the area. great work, well done! dom

    Jan 20, 2011 at 6:41 AM

  • Greg, your notes on the Grifalco della Lucania wines are unclear about which of their wines they pertain to. I can see by the pricing that they're different, but you neglect to distinguish bottlings by name, e.g. Gricos, Damaschito, Bosco del Falco, Grifalco. Any clarification appreciated!

    Jan 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

  • Snooth User: bici
    28235 5

    Hi, Iam curious to hear if the Aglianico wines from Puglia are rated higher than those from Basilicata/ Campania regions. i ask becaue i have really enjoyed the Primitivos and Negromaro wiens that i have tasted these past few years.

    I am looking forward to tasting my first Aglianico wins asap.


    Jan 20, 2011 at 12:26 PM

  • Snooth User: Helen Poole
    1337036 29


    Aug 30, 2013 at 5:55 AM

  • Snooth User: anvilpep
    1370081 34


    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM

  • fantastic

    Sep 27, 2013 at 1:52 AM

  • fentastic

    Oct 06, 2013 at 11:37 PM

  • great

    Jan 21, 2014 at 1:01 AM

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