Friday Feature – October 2, 2009

Hello and Happy Friday!

Today was what I would call a “no-brainer” when it came down to deciding which wine I tasted this week to put in my “Friday Feature.”

It has been clearly documented that I am a huge fan of Italian wine, and this week I tasted the new release from a historic winery located in the region of Basilicata in Southern Italy.

This is a full-bodied, spicy red that can be drunk now with some decanting, but will ultimately keep getting better and better over its evolution in bottle.

The wine is not in the store at this time and will be brought in based on your orders.

Why do I do this? Perman Wine Selections is all about being the type of shop that really only cares about what you like, and what fits your palate.  By not always stocking wines first, there is never anything that needs to be pushed out the door.  If you have ever been to one of the big stores, asked for a bottle of a type of wine and been led to the biggest stack of wine your eyes have ever seen, then you will know what I’m talking about.

With that said, what makes the cut on these newsletters is very highly recommended!  This is a dialogue so always feel free to ask the question, “is this right for me?”

Have a great weekend,


Before there was Horace Grant with the goggles, there was Horace the lyric poet under Emperor Augustus.  He was born in the region known as Basilicata, which lies in Southern Italy bordered by Campania, Puglia and Calabria.  It is a very mountainous region with only 8% of the land lying flat.

The top vineyards of the region are in the Northern part of Basilicata bordering Campania. That neighboring region has long had more international prominence in grape growing.  Wine production is much higher in Campania, and so Basilicata has always been in its shadow.  But some are trying to change that.

At the forefront of quality in Basilicata is Donato D’Angelo, winemaker and owner of D’Angelo.  Aglianico del Vulture is the only D.O.C. in the region of Basilicata.

Like its neighbor, the success in growing Aglianico in the area is due to its volcanic soil. It is also interesting to note that the Aglianico del Vulture region is actually quite cool with snow falling as early as December.  The protection of the mountains from the West, and the cooling influences from the east means that there is a long, slow growing season.  The best wines of the world always come from regions just on the cusp between success and failure.

Aglianico as a varietal is suited to those palates that love a full-bodied style.  The grape has a good deal of natural tannin, alongside well-balanced acidity.  It is this character that makes it have its great aging potential.

Donato D’Angelo has remarked with the ’04 vintage that this is one of the greatest vintages in his estates history.  Tasting this wine earlier in the week, one can see why he is so excited.

The Aglianico del Vulture Riserva is produced with a traditional 15-day maceration with the skins.  It is aged in large used oak barrels for two years, and then kept in bottle for almost an additional three years.

Super intense on the nose with kirsch and dark berry notes intermingling with savory fennel and licorice.    Wonderfully pure and layered with more subtle dark berry notes, spice and hints at truffle lying underneath.  This is a huge step up in complexity than his ’03 Riserva, which I thought was good.

This though, is a superb bottle, especially for the price.  I would urge Aglianico fans to snap some of this up.  You can drink it now, with an hour in the decanter and a hunk of meat.  For those with a cellar, this will start to peak by 2012 and last till 2020.
$35.99 BTL. / $431.88 CASE

Craig Perman
Perman Wine Selections
802 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone 312-666-4417
Fax 312-666-4487

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