Aglianico del Vulture DOC "Arberesko"


100% Aglianico (as required by the DOC). San Martino’s six hectares of well-aged vines are split into 8 parcels at almost 600 meters among the hills at a distance of 4.5 km from the ancient Vulture volcano in northern Basilicata. The soils are a complex layering of sand, shells and stones rich in volcanic ash. The climate is continental, in spite of the southerly latitude, due to the high elevation and the strong Atlantic winds coming over the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. The farming has been organic from the start (certified), made easier than in most regions by the intense sun and drying effect of constant winds from three coasts; the harvest in Vulture is generally later than anywhere else in Italy.

The Arberesko bottling generally contains the fruit of the "middle-aged" vines ranging from around 40 to 60 years old (Siir is from the younger ones and Kamai from the oldest). The fruit is harvested by hand into small bins and carefully sorted and destemmed. The different parcels are vinified separately. Fermentation occurs spontaneously with indigenous yeasts and a tiny amount of sulfur in steel tanks. Maceration is 10-14 days with only an occasional pump-over (4-5 times maximum) followed by a gentle pressing: owner/winemaker Lorenzo Piccin thinks in terms of infusion rather than extraction, a necessary approach to bring out elegance of aromatics and tannins in this naturally structured grape. The aging regime varies year to year with the nature of the vintage but involves a mix of used wood in the form of tonneaux and 5000-liter botti for a year. Bottling is without fining or filtering. "Arberesko" means "Albanian” in the local, strongly Albanian-influenced dialect. 

93 points
"The 2018 Aglianico del Vulture Arberesko captivates with a dark, rich bouquet that blends sweet plums with lavender, camphor and a dusting of cocoa. It’s silky, almost fleshy in texture, yet delivers a stimulating core of acidity and salty minerals that create a more savory impression. That said, there’s no lack of fruit, or grippy tannins either, as the Arberesko manages to balance all of its components impeccably well, tapering off structured to notes of black tea and wild herbs. There’s already plenty of pleasure to be found here, but a few years of cellaring is sure to reveal even more."
Eric Guido,
Vinous Media
, July 2021

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