image from The Italian Wine Connection

The Aglianico vine is said to have originated in Greece but now makes its home in Campania and Basilicata, Italy. It was brought to Campania by Greek settlers and its very dark grapes produce deep garnet coloured wines.

In early Roman times, it was the principal grape of the famous Falernian wine, a sweet white wine favoured by no less than kings and so named because it was made on the slopes of Mount Falernus. In its day, it was the ancient Roman equivalent of a First Growth wine today. Wines from this grape tend to be full bodied with pronounced tannins and lots of acidity. Thus, they have aging potential. The rich and full flavour of Aglianico wines makes it an excellent match for rich meats such as lamb, rich roast or stewed beef, most game and even duck.

In Campania, the grape is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Youthful wines are very tannic and pack too much of a punch to be appreciated.They require a few years aging before they become supple and approachable.  With aging, they develop fruitiness and balance and when well made, give off aromas and/or flavours of dark chocolate, black stone fruit and sometimes, a fleeting ferric tang.