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.
It’s a genuine museum in the open air displaying the ancient art of wine-making: a vineyard of two hectares, where about 7,500 vines, all over eighty years old, pre-phylloxera and ungrafted, are grown on tripods of canes known as “huts”. It is the same age-old tradition that so impressed the Greeks when they arrived in the region, and named the area Enotria, in fact (Land of the Wine-makers).
In this vineyard-garden full of fruit trees (chiefly olive trees, but also apricot, peach, cherry, sour cherry, fig, medlar, walnut, hazelnut, persimmon and pear trees), the old vines have always benefited from the favourable environmental conditions and reveal a surprising balance.
The production is about 1,000 kilograms per hectare, compared to the company’s average production of 6,200, and the 8,000 permitted by DOCG regulations: in terms of quantity it may seem absurd, but it is explained by the photos of this incredible vineyard.
The character of these genetically exceptional vines, being ancient and not having been subject to selective cloning, is so unique that it has led to a truly unmistakeable and remarkable wine.
The volcanic soils, whether sandy or basalt, the constant airy breezes, a significant altitude (500 m above sea level), and the entirely manual production makes a cru of the rarest excellence from this small corner of paradise.
The wine is intense, textured and deep ruby red in colour, with a bouquet of red berry fruits, rose and cardamom. It is extremely persistent on the palate, with silky tannins and a lively, complex structure, and embodies the most refined and powerful expression of the Vulture region wines.
In the words of the wine-makers themselves: “An elderly gentleman, who may initially appear gruff and severe, but whose richly complex character has a hypnotic charisma that will bowl you over.”