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Food Pairings for Rivera Aglianico Castel del Monte Riserva Cappellaccio
It’s a delight to get to taste a wine that carries you away. Rivera‘s 2005 vintage of the Cappellaccio Riserva Aglianico did just that – it made us want to pack up our lives, leave it all behind, and move to Italy. Rivera, the winery that also gave us Il Falcone (one of our other longtime favorites), is owned by the De Corato family whose history in the Castel del Monte area dates back to the early 1900′s. The De Corato family’s dedication to the land and the development of the wine-growing region are noteworthy as they have become one of the driving forces behind the region’s resurgence in Apulia (Puglia). The Cappellaccio Riserva Aglianico wine, named for cappellaccio (or gossan) the hard layer about 30-40 cm down in tufaceous soils formed over the centuries by water erosion of limestone, comes from the Castel del Monte D.O.C in Puglia. It is 100% Aglianico fruit matured for 12 months in French oak barrels of varying ages. The color is a gorgeous, deep garnet. On the nose, kirsch, old-fashioned liquorice, sweet plum, espresso. Toffee and spice develop after some time in the glass. On the palate, cherry compote, black plum, blackberry, anise, thyme and cedar with a finish of tobacco leaves. The lovely things about this wine is that it keeps changing in the glass. It won’t slowly wither away, but rather keeps bringing out new characteristics. Like most true Italian wines, the Rivera Cappellaccio Riserva Aglianico 2005 cries out for food to go with it. You can go without but there’s no magic. We paired it with rustic, grilled cuts of beef the butcher called Farmer’s Favorite, and some simple pan-fried potatoes. But go with anything from pasta with red sauce to hard cheeses. The Rivera Cappellaccio Riserva Aglianico 2005 also provides excellent value. It’s ready to drink now and Rivera says that “stored correctly, Cappellaccio will continue to mature in the bottle for 7-8 years”.
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