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San Martino Aglianico del Vulture Arberesko 2018

Red Wine from Basilicata, Italy
by San Martino
$29.99

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Aberesko (translated as “Albanian”, which has a strong influence on the local dialect), is made from mostly old vines grown between 500 and 600 meters. It is truly classic, in the best sense of the word, Aglianico del Vulture. Aromatic, volcanic, fiery and powerful but with surprising lift and the sort of dusty, amaro laced flavors that keep you coming back for more.
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San Martino

Lorenzo Piccin is a winemaker living in Torino, just half an hours drive or so from the world famous Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards. But his winery is on the other side of the country, and every few weeks he takes a 12 hour overnight bus down to Basilicata and the village of Rionero in Vulture, at the foot of Monte Vulture. Here there is zero Nebbiolo, this is Aglianico country.

This fact alone tells you how passionate he is about the vineyards and the wine of this remote region, and how unique and special they are. Monte Vulture is about 30 miles east of Avellino and the other famous Aglianico zone of Taurasi, and it shares many similarities, but there are also distinct differences.

The Vulture Mountain is an ancient, dormant volcano and the rich, black soils are exactly what Aglianico needs to gain both power and structure. But the vineyards here are generally higher elevations than Taurasi, some of the highest in Southern Italy, and there is almost constant cold, dry winds coming from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The days are warm and very sunny and the nights cool off rapidly, even in the middle of summer, which leads to a long slow growing season. Again, perfect for Aglianico.

Lorenzo’s family is actually from Tuscany, and his parents had a successful winery in the Vino Nobile DOCG of Montepulciano before selling it in the late 1990’s. Lorenzo’s father than started a new project in Vulture, and after spending several harvests helping out he decided he wanted his own winery and began leasing 6 hectares of vines that now make up the San Martino label.

Because of the cold, dry winds and high elevations Lorenzo says it is relatively easy to farm organically, and he has done so from day one. In the winery everything is gentle and a without manipulation, only small amounts of SO2 are added when necessary. The goal is to avoid over extraction, and indeed the wines of San Martino are elegant and balanced, built on frames of both tannin and crisp acidity. They are a far cry from the rich, high abv fruit bombs that some producers made famous here 20 years ago.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Aglianico

  • Vintage

    2018

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Natural

  • Style

    Earthy , Fruity , Spicy

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Full Bodied