The Aglianico comes from a beautifully farmed, certified organic vineyard in Westside Paso Robles on Peachy Canyon Road. Set squarely in Rhone varietal and Zinfandel country, Luna Matta Vineyard also grows a good number of Italian varieties. And Aglianico really shines here. It ripens late and loves the heat. The limestone soils and cooling afternoon breeze from the Templeton Gap lend a real freshness and aromatic verve. Aglianico hails from the volcanic regions of Campania and Basilicata in southern Italy. The wines are somewhat obscure but gaining traction. The well made examples have an extraordinary track record for aging.
VinificationThe 2008 Aglianico was completely destemmed. Fermented by spontaneous yeast for about 2 weeks, then pressed to all used oak barrels. The elevage lasted 33 months in barrel and a further 9 months in bottle before release.
Tasting NotesAfter a difficult spring, the modestly warm 2008 growing season was coddling the tiny crop of Aglianico before it was wrapped up with a tremendous heat wave in October. The fruit was very ripe when picked. The resulting wine seems to warp the surrounding spacetime like a vinous black hole with its near infinite density. The massive heady wine is like some kind of dry raspberry liqueur, full of camphor, cumin, leather and tar. It is a wild ride that drinks like a very savory Amarone. Buried somewhere under this concentrated fruit is a very powerful tannic structure that holds everything together. Not for the faint of heart, it makes the 2007 look like a delicate flower.