"The Barolo of the South"
By now, it's probably clear that I have an affinity for wines from Northern Italy, and from Piemonte in particular. I gravitate towards them, so they're bound to pop up here from time to time. But today's wine is something entirely different. Barolo is in the title of this post, but this time, we're heading to Southern Italy.
This week's sip is the Taurasi from Azienda Agricola Fiorentino. Taurasi is a DOCG in the Avellino region of Campania, known for it's powerful and structured reds from the grape Aglianico. The soil here is volcanic, which results in wines that are distinctly mineral and more savoury and dark than many popular Italian reds.
You'll often hear these wines referred to as the "Barolo of the South," but this isn't meant to suggest that they're identical. Instead, the moniker is a testament to the esteemed reputation, structure, and ageing potential that wines from Taurasi afford.
The first difference you'll notice between Aglianico and Nebbiolo is the colour. This wine is deep ruby red, pouring almost opaque in the glass. The body is full and the tannins just verge on overpowering. The aromas are reminiscent of dark fruits, such as plum and black cherry, and the palate offers a savoury and smoky complexity.
If I were to describe this wine in one word, it would be "structured." This is a wine that can hold it's own, and that won't be overpowered by even the most flavourful dishes. I suggest pairing this Taurasi with rich, gamey meats like duck, lamb, or venison to see what Aglianico is really capable of.