Browse Tag


Madonna moon

de Conciliis “Donnaluna” 2008 Cilento Aglianico (Campania) – Spicy, rocky, coal-dusted darkness with a fair bit of unintegrated acidity. I want to like this more than I do, but there’s an insubstantiality to the wine that becomes apparent with greater attention. (11/11)

Delta of Venusio

[vineyard]Cantina di Venosa 1999 Aglianico del Vulture “Carato Venusio” (Basilicata) – It’s not always clear with aglianico at which point in the wine’s maturity you have encountered it, because the structure and the “fruit,” which can seem to work at cross-purposes even at the best of times, mature in ways that are largely unlike other, more familiar, grapes. One must be prepared for a certain rusticity and no lack of scraping aggression, usually from the tannin…at which point, one will usually encounter one of those beautiful, fully-resolved, almost “elegant” (for aglianico) bottles that defies all expectations. Here, however, is something a little more standard. The fruit’s reddish, thinning, and drying, but still appealing if one is willing to embrace fruit-as-dust, while the tannin lingers and scrapes, and still-emerging acidity begins to add its own warbling treble descant. It’s appealing, but the appeal is predicated on a disposition to like wines of this type. Drink now? I guess. (3/09)


Mastroberardino 1995 Taurasi “Radici” (Campania) – Cashews. The texture, which I expect to be a little wrenched and puckery, is frankly gorgeous, and the balance of earths – including earth-laden fruit of the darkest, broodiest kind – is lovely. (9/08)

Borgo invasion

Borgo di Colloredo 2003 Aglianico Terre degli Osci (Molise) – Big, black fruit. Chewy, with good acidity. Softer than many aglianicos, but still hightly structured. Lingering black minerality, some asphalt, and fermented flowers combine on the finish. Good, but not better than that. (2/07)


Terredora di Paolo 2005 Aglianico (Campania) – Hard. Tar, leather, blood, and iron…isn’t that what everyone wants in their wine?…with slightly herbal, green tannins quite present. Difficult, perhaps even slightly brutal, but then aglianico often is. (2/07)