2020 Grifalco Aglianico del Vulture ‘Grifalco’
Region: Mt. Vulture < Basilicata < Italy
Grapes: Aglianco del Vulture
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming, volcanic soils, hand harvested, grapes fermented and aged 12 months in large, old, Slavonian oak barrels
Winemaker: Fabrizio Piccin
The phrase ‘off the beaten’ path does not begin to describe the remote part of Italy where you’ll find the Grifalco farm. The province of Basilicata is basically one big extinct volcano, with just 600,000 people and extreme peaks and valleys covering 96% of the region. Which leaves not much room for building homes, planting vines…roads, transportation, modernity of any sort. Yet it is here that Fabrizio and Cecilia Piccin chose to start their project in 2004 when they sold their Tuscan winery and moved south to start out anew with Aglianico. After over 20 years of making wine in Tuscany, the couple went in search of a different location with ideal conditions to begin a new winery project. While they loved Sangiovese, they didn’t like the culture of tourism and international grape varieties that had invaded the once traditional region, and took off for a place where they could make wines in their own quiet and respectful way. It was a good decision. Their immaculate vineyard and cellar work, which includes no new oak, reveals a more elegant, feminine, side of Aglianico.
They make four wines, and this one, the Grifalco, is the estate's flagship wine. It smells faintly like Nebbiolo, dusty rose mixing with crushed blackberries and a spritz of blood orange. It’s silky and soothing upon the palate, with mineral-rich black fruits and purple flowers. The finish is long, with a pop of crunchy tannin and bright acid. Perfect for meaty winter dishes, but not a beast -- you could easily pair this with pizza, veg or pasta dishes.