Are you really interested in the aromas of the 1999 Grifalco Aglianico Del Vulture? Come on! Perhaps one could write of the 1999 or the 1989, sniffing and swishing. But what do you expect from the embryo of a red Lucanian wine, other than crisp fruit, savoriness and drinkability?
No, this time I didn't choose the wine, but rather the people. Because this is the story of a slice of lesser Italy, the Italy that doesn't make the news, but I think is great.
Cecilia Naldoni and Fabrizio Piccin are Tuscans, known and respected by wine lovers the world over for the excellent Nobile made at Salcheto. Hell, what could be better than making wine in Tuscany, where the land is considered a common good?
No, about 10 years ago they decided to head south, not to Sicily, which is flooded with great names, nor Puglia, where Antinori and GIV have blazed a trail, but rather Luciania, the Vulture. A land of castles and forests, Podolico cattle and flocks of sheep, people who are hard-working but absolutely set in their ways. One, and only one eyesore: Melfi's industrial zone, well overshadowed by the savage beauty of the land spat out by the volcano.
The come to Venosa: the castle, the Roman ruins, the white houses, the cathedral. A jewel of the south, and almost completely unknown. And ehre they plant Aglianico, organically, while sending their son Lorenzo to study winemaking at Alba.
And I say, "Damn this Aglianico is good!" Like all good Tuscans our heroes know marketing and move it well: in wine shops you'll find it for less than 10 Euros. With fried lamb or Lampredotto sandwiches! :-) When I think how different the South's lot would be if people only practiced what Gaia intended for it: Agriculture.
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.