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4791 Dry Creek Rd. Healdsburg, CA
The most recent addition to Amphora’s varietal line-up is considered the premier grape of southern Italy. Aglianico, (pronounced ahl-YAH-nee-koe), is sometimes referred to as the ‘Barolo of the south’ (the south of Italy, that is!), and has quite a bit of lore and legend associated with it. Some say this is the grape of the coveted Falernian wine of ancient Rome-the first famous appellation in history. Others take the name to be a corruption of ‘hellenico’, and suppose that the vine was brought to Italy by the Greeks who colonized many southern coastal provinces before the rise of the Roman Empire. As is often the case, truth may be more interesting than the legend. Recent DNA analysis of Aglianico reveals no close relationship with any existing Greek varietals, BUT does indicate that Aglianico is a second-degree relative of Syrah (possibly a ‘grandparent’). We also know that while the grape has been grown in Campania and Basilicata for at least a couple of thousand years, it is still very rare in California. Only 126 tons of Aglianico were crushed in the state last year—compared to 469,000 tons of Zinfandel!
Our second vintage of Aglianico hails from the Heringer Vineyard in Clarksburg, and displays a zesty Italian character. This garnet-red wine is spicily aromatic, with notes of peppercorn and sandalwood that open to bright red berry. It is medium-bodied, with fine-grained drying tannins, and a lively tartness that works brilliantly with a variety of dishes. The wine’s flavors follow true to its aromas, and tend toward red fruit, with a leafy note on the finish. We believe this wine will age elegantly for years, and if you plan to enjoy it in the short-term be sure to give it a little air…and absolutely be sure to pair it with a nice meal!