Bisceglia Aglianico del Vulture Terra di Vulcano 2010

bisceglia-aglianicoThough the most heralded region for Southern Italy’s Aglianico grape is probably Campagnia’s Taurasi, I more frequently find myself exploring Basilicata’s Aglianico del Vulture for both quality and value. These wines, grown on the slopes of extinct volcano Mount Vulture, tend to showcase distinct minerality while staying true to the region’s rugged, rustic nature.

Bisceglia’s Terra di Vulcano Aglianico del Vulture 2010, which you’ll find for just $13.99 on the luxury shelves of Premium PLCB stores, is the modern winery’s entry-level Aglianico, a bottling that consistently offers an approachable introduction to the grape for those not familiar. Known for its propensity for aggressive-to-the point-of-nearly-unapproachable tannins, this Aglianico is surprisingly bright and friendly, perhaps due to aging in 100% stainless steel. Compared to Bisceglia’s Gudarrà Aglianico, which sits in new French oak for a year, the Terre de Vulcano is decidedly light on its feet, almost elegant. It’s a wine for drinking now, whereas the other benefits from extended time on its side.

It starts out showcasing some nice funky notes, including earth, tar and forest floor, then transitions into blackberry fruit alongside an unmistakable anise note (typical for this grape), as well as violets, herbs, spice and chalk. Brilliant acidity and medium tannins make this a great match for pizzas and pastas with meat, sausages and other grilled or roasted meats. (Try it for burger night.)

If you dig the funk, decant for about 30 minutes to catch its best stuff. If the idea of tar in your wine is a turn-off, try decanting 90-120 for a more fruit-forward taste. Ideally, you’ll get a dose of both as this wine evolves and changes over the course of an evening.

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