Aglianico Wine – A Wine Lover`s Guide

Aglianico, also known as [English: /ælˈjænɪkoʊ/ al-YAN-ik-oh] is a type of black grape that is commonly grown in the southern regions of Italy, particularly in Basilicata and Campania. It is widely regarded as one of the top three Italian grape varieties, along with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. In fact, due to its capacity to produce sophisticated and intricate wines like the renowned Piedmont wine Barolo, Aglianico is often referred to as “The Barolo of the South” (il Barolo del Sud).


The vine’s origins and name are shrouded in mystery. According to historic documents, it was first cultivated in Greece by Phocians from an unknown ancestral vine, and later brought to Cumae by Greek settlers in the 8th century BC before spreading throughout southern Italy.

However, DNA analysis of Aglianico suggests that it is not closely related to other Greek grape varieties, and its parentage remains a mystery. This suggests that Aglianico is likely indigenous to its region, as there is no evidence of any original Greek plantings in Italy.

Wine Regions

Aglianico is the key grape variety for the Aglianico del Vulture DOC and Aglianico del Vulture Superiore, which is the only DOCG wine produced in Basilicata. The vineyards located in and around Mount Vulture are particularly sought after for their high-quality productions.

In Campania, Taurasi in the Province of Avellino and Monte del Taburno in the Province of Benevento are also known for producing excellent Aglianico wines with DOCG designation. Taurasi was granted DOCG status in 1993, while Aglianico del Taburno received it in 2011. In the province of Caserta, Aglianico is the primary grape used for Falerno del Massico.

Wine Styles

Aglianico wines are typically full-bodied with firm tannins and high acidity, which gives them excellent potential for aging. These wines have rich flavors that make them ideal for pairing with meats like lamb. In Campania, some IGT wines blend Aglianico with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

When young, Aglianico is highly concentrated and tannic, requiring several years (up to 10) of aging before it becomes approachable. As it ages, the fruit flavors become more pronounced, and the tannins become more balanced.

The wine is known for its deep garnet color and can have aromas of chocolate and plum in well-made examples.

Wines made of Aglianco Grapes

Aglianico wines are a unique and special type of red wine that originates from Southern Italy. The name Aglianico is derived from the ancient Greeks who introduced the grape to Italy during their colonization period. These wines are known for their deep, rich flavor and high tannin structure, making them perfect for aging. The grapes themselves are small and thick-skinned, which contributes to the wine’s complexity.

In addition to being used in red wines, Aglianico grapes can also be used in rosé wine production. Rosé made with Aglianico grapes is known for its delicate pink hue and refreshing acidity. It’s a perfect summer drink that pairs well with light salads or seafood dishes.

One of the most important regions for Aglianico wine production is Campania, specifically Taurasi where some of the best examples come from.

Aglianico Rosé

Aglianico is a red grape variety that is predominantly grown in southern Italy. It has been used to produce some of the finest wines in the Campania and Basilicata regions for centuries. However, this versatile grape varietal has also found its way into the production of rose wines with stunning results.

The Aglianico rose wine possesses a unique combination of flavors and aromas that are entirely different from other types of rose wines. They usually have intense dark fruit flavors like cherry, blackberry, and plum with an underlying hint of spice. The tannins are firm yet soft on the palate, giving it an excellent structure and complexity. This makes it a perfect accompaniment with dishes like roasted meats, grilled vegetables, or spicy seafood.

Rosé wine lovers who appreciate bold flavors will undoubtedly fall in love with Aglianico rosés.

Is Aglianico Wine Sweet or Dry?

Aglianico is a grape variety that is primarily grown in the southern Italian region of Campania and in Basilicata. The wine produced from this grape can be either sweet or dry, depending on the winemaking process. Aglianico wines are known for their bold taste and high tannin levels, which make them perfect for aging.

In general, Aglianico wines tend to be dry rather than sweet. This is because the grape has naturally high acidity levels, which balance out its tannins and create a dry finish. However, there are some producers who choose to ferment Aglianico grapes using techniques that result in sweeter wines. In these cases, residual sugar is left over after fermentation to give the wine a slightly sweet taste.

Overall, whether an Aglianico wine is sweet or dry will depend on the winemaker’s preference and production techniques used.

How long to age Aglianico before you can drink it?

Aglianico wine is a full-bodied and robust red wine that originates from the Campania region of southern Italy. The grape used to produce this wine is known for its high tannin content, which makes it ideal for aging. However, how long should you age Aglianico Wine before you can drink it?

The answer largely depends on personal preference, as well as the style of Aglianico you have purchased. Generally speaking, Aglianico wines can age anywhere from 5 to 20 years or more. If you prefer your wines with a fruitier taste and aroma, then drinking younger vintages may be more suitable for your palate.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an intense and complex flavor profile with hints of leather and spice, consider aging your Aglianico Wine for at least five years or more in a temperature-controlled cellar.

Wines similar to Aglianico Wine

Aglianico wine is a popular red wine grape variety that is widely grown in Southern Italy. It is known for its deep ruby color, full body, and high tannins. The wine has a unique flavor profile that features notes of dark fruit, black pepper, chocolate, and leather. If you enjoy the taste of Aglianico wine but want to try something different, there are several similar wines you can explore.

One such wine is Tannat. This red wine grape variety originates from the Madiran region in Southwest France. Like Aglianico, it has high tannins and a full-bodied texture with flavors of dark fruit and spices.

Another similar option is Malbec which comes from Argentina and has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its bold flavors of blackberry, plum, and tobacco.

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a red wine grape that thrives in warmer climates. Like Aglianico, it produces full-bodied wines with high tannins and dark fruit flavors. These wines can also have hints of black pepper or spice notes. Syrah’s popularity has grown globally due to its versatility in winemaking styles.

Food Pairing of Aglianico Wine

Aglianico wine is a popular red wine variety that hails from Southern Italy, particularly in the regions of Campania and Basilicata. It’s a full-bodied wine with high tannins and acidity, making it a perfect match for rich, meaty dishes such as grilled lamb or beef stews.

One of the classic food pairings for Aglianico is with hearty pasta dishes like lasagna or spaghetti bolognese. The wine’s bold flavors complement the richness of tomato-based sauces and the meatiness of beef or pork ragu. It also pairs well with roasted vegetables like eggplant or zucchini and aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano.

For those looking to try something new, Aglianico also goes well with Asian cuisine.

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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