Originally brought to Italy by the Greeks in the 6th century B.C., Aglianico was famous in the ancient world for it's part in Falernum, a wine revered by kings and poets. Today it is making a comeback after nearly being wiped out by Phylloxera in the 19th century. A late ripening varietal, Aglianico boasts inky-black depths of color, fiery tannins and a firm structure. Aromas and flavors of black fruits, smoke, dark chocolate and even iron are common. Young Aglianicos have a tendency to be harsh and bold, but new world wine-making has made the better examples more approachable at an early age. Aglianico is a long lived varietal, with better examples improving in bottle for decades.
Aglianico is southern Italy's greatest grape, with the best expressions coming from the D.O.Cs Taurasi in Campania and Aglianico del Vulture in Basilicata, where it grows in the volcanic ash on the slopes of Mount Vulture. It can also be found in the warm climates of Riverland (South Australia) and Nemea (Eastern Greece). It is a good match for roasts and game.