A couple of years ago courtesy of the EU I was off to Naples, the capital of the Campanian wine region in Italy. Such incredible food, archeological sites and of course wine. I was at Southern Italy’s biggest wine show Vitingo in Naples and was also ferried about to some incredible wineries and co-operatives. Fantastic wines that I had not heard of and off to the best restaurants in Naples each night. If I can only bring back the magic by returning to Naples. And if you have had the experience of tasting the pizza of Napoli that alone with the right wine would have you returning in an instant. So it is with interest I see the wines of Campania trickle into the LCBO in a wave of tokenism.
From Fattoria Alois we try a Ponte Pellegrino Aglianico. A heady aroma of blackberry, blueberry, cassis and a handshake welcoming you into its heart and soul. On the palate sleek and elegant with a gentle acidity that compliments the fruit. Acidity in red wine can be a killer but here it works perfectly setting a perfect foil against the moderate tannins. As for fruit it is all so tightly knit it forms a coherent unified whole that leaves me saying the wine is full of black fruit. I think the wine is best suited to food but one must not bypass the opportunity to taste it on its own. One aspect I can’t pick up is if the grapes are grown in the volcanic soils of Mt. Vesuvius because in such cases there is often a hint of coal perhaps thanks to the lava soils. As a closing comment this is one of the rare wines where acidity is not obnoxious and destructive. That alone in my books is quite a feat.
Will it improve with age? Considering its perfect acidity today what will happen to its acidity in the upcoming years is a bit of a crap shoot. If I can give you some advice drinking this wine is like winning $400 on the slots in Las Vegas. Best cash out quick and save your winnings for a couple of great meals! Facing three cheers and the bing bing bing of a winner’s roll savour the moment and walk away. Put another way drink now and enjoy the three cherries.
(Ponte Pellegrino Aglianico 2018, Fattoria Alois Srl, Pontelatone, Italy , $14.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 18611, 13%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 94/100)