Aglianico del Vulture D.O.C.

The Aglianico variety has been cultivated in the Vulture area of the province of Potenza from the most ancient times and its grapes provide wines that in the past enlivened the meals of dignitaries and kings.

In the Southern part of Italy, situated between Apulia, the Ionian Sea, Calabria and the Tyrrhenian Sea, lies the region of Basilicata. In the northern part of this region, in an area of gently rolling hills, somewhat cut off from the other hills of the Appennine chain, the mountainous V¨lture range is located. This range, after which the area is named, is of volcanic origin. Vulture's woods are dense and the volcanic soil rich and fertile. Basilicata has been known for its wines since the 6th or 7th century B.C., when the Greeks planted what came to be known as Aglianico. However, the Aglianico is now so firmly entrenched on the slopes of the V¨lture that it has earned native status, and is endearingly referred to as "the Barolo of the South". All this has contributed to a rich, historical and artistic heritage of this wine.

The Aglianico grape sprouts late, thereby avoiding frosts, and matures well in this ideal ground of volcanic origin. It cannot however, survive in very high temperatures or for long periods of time without water, which is what makes this climate ideal for this type of grape. Aglianico is first matured in oak barrels which enhances all of its natural characteristics. It is then bottled and stored in underground caves which guarantees ideal conditions of temperature and humidity. This produces a more robust wine with a higher alcohol content.

It is here in the district of Rionero in Vulture, that Francesco Sasso has turned his winery into one of the undisputed leaders in Basilicata, with an Aglianico that ranks with the finest reds in Southern Italy. Sasso produces an Aglianico del Vulture Estate Bottled wine, the "Brigante" Cru, and "Federico II". The latter is a special cru Aglianico named after the German Emperor Federico II, who declared Aglianico del Vulture the official wine of his castle. These wines are a magnificent ruby red in color with a hint of blackberry that varies in intensity and which has an orange tinge after maturing. The bouquet is delicate and distinctive and the taste is dry, full-bodied, well-balanced, and appropriately sharp and tannic, reaching velvety smoothness with maturity. A perfect accompaniment to strong flavored foods such as game or other roasted meats and should be served at room temperature.

Cantine Sasso S.r.l. / Via Appia, 123 / 85100 Potenza / (0971) 470709

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