Arberesko DOCG Aglianico del Vulture
100% Aglianico (as required by the DOCG). San Martino’s six hectares of vines comprise multiple parcels scattered about at the high altitudes (500-600 meters) and on the varied volcanic soils typical of the Vulture DOCG in northern Basilicata. The Arberesko bottling generally contains the fruit of the older vines (40-80 years), which are farmed organically, like all of San Martino’s holdings. The manual harvest here is later than in most of Italy, thanks to the surprisingly continental nature of the climate; ripeness is easily achieved but not extreme, the yields low, and the fruit healthy due to the prevailing cold, dry winds and high vine age.
In the cellar, San Martino's many micro-parcels are vinified separately. The bunches are carefully sorted and destemmed. Fermentation occurs spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, in steel tank with a small amount of sulfur. Maceration is 7-10 days with occasional pump-overs to oxygenate this tannic red. There is no effort to extract extra anything from this naturally structured, deeply colored wine--to the contrary, the point is to bring out Aglianico’s inherent aromatic and elegant nature. The different parcels are blended after a year of aging and further aged in tonneau and then bottle, the mix and the length of time depending on the vintage, but Arberesko for longer versus the entry-level Siir bottling. The wine is bottled with a small amount of sulfur and without fining or filtering. “Arberesko” translates to “Albanian”, a term by which the local Albanian-descended populace refers to themselves in the local dialect.