THE AGLIANICO CRUS FROM THE VULTURE REGION: ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT
The idea for a project based on company crus arose during the 2011 harvest from a range of factors, one of which was certainly the evident differences we had noticed between our vineyards, especially in terms of the soil.
During those first studies of the characteristics of the vineyards and the different results obtained in wine-making, I felt a growing desire to document these observations through photographs and gathering statistical and analytical data.
The fact that the same species of grape variety – Aglianico – in the same local area – Barile – apparently facing in a similar direction – SE – and with largely similar methods of wine-making could lead to grapes and wines that were so original and different from each other, spurred me to bring the results of these evaluations to the bottle and to share them with others.
In that fantastic year, so excellent and so full of food for thought, our intuitions multiplied and consolidated as we tasted the wines during their development, first in the tanks and then in the wooden barrels, always separating them according to vineyard.
Having finished the wine-making and observation phases, the wines from the individual vineyards were brought together in the two company products as usual: the most interesting selection in terms of expression of local terroir, structure and evolutionary potential, was used for the Basilisco, while the tanks with less complexity and structure and with more pronounced fruit, an expression of the varietal in all its immediacy, were brought together to create the Teodosio.
Starting from 2012, the crus have started to forge a pathway, reinforcing and extending the research we had carried out, and for the first time we decided to go ahead with an exclusive bottling of the small quantity of remarkable quality produced solely from the Storico vineyard grapes.
Since the 2013 vintage, the production of small batches of 1500 bottles per type has involved a further 2 vineyards and we now have 3 company crus.
From the 2012 vintages, later brought together in the only two Basilisco wines we produced at the time, in addition to the 6 oak barrels from Storico, we kept a wine which had really impressed me from another vineyard: Piano di Croce.
It’s a less forceful expression of Aglianico, still unmistakeable as regards the typical features of the varietal, but extremely elegant and delicate.
This small vineyard was also in Barile, a plot of little more than a hectare at an altitude of 480 m above sea level, with volcanic soil rich in calcareous elements. The vines are over thirty years old and are of a really exciting quality.
Having tasted the results after a year’s ageing in wood, the wine from this cru exceeded our already high expectations! From 2013 the Piano di Croce vineyard also officially became one of our limited edition crus.
In homage to the Burgundy logic of the crus, but with a desire also to anchor the wine to the name of its vineyard, I decided to call it “Croce”, but pronounced in the French way and written in Italian: CRUA’.
The colour is surprising in its lightness and transparency. The bouquet is delicate and persistent, with notes of small red berries, raspberries and sour cherry, followed by white chocolate. It is very refined on the palate, with lively tannins and a fresh, dynamic mouthfeel. It has a lingering finish with notes of herbs and spices such as mace and mint.
In the words of the wine-makers themselves: “It brings to mind a woman in her forties, feminine and elegant, highly refined on first impressions, but opening up to the tastebuds to reveal complexity and structure, as well as fine, sweet tannins. In relation to the general idea of “Aglianico” it is less tangible, more “transparent”.