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Pronunciation:  alli-YAWN-nee-co

Synonyms: Aglianichello, Aglianico di Castellaneta, Aglianico Femminile, Aglianico Mascolino, Aglianico Zerpuloso, Aglianicone, Aglianicuccia, Agliano, Agliatica, Ellanico, Ellenico, Fiano Rosso, Gagliano, Gnanica, Granica, Prie blanc, Uva Catellaneta, Uva dei Cani, Uva nera

Wine Name: Aglianico, Aglianico del Vulture, Aglianico del Taburno, Falerno del Massico, Taurasi

Background: From the Southern Italy regions of  Campania and Basilicata, this native grape is grown on the slopes of the volcanos Mt Vulture and Taburno as well as the Falerno del Massico, Irpinia and Avellino sub-regions. For many years it was just made similar in style to strongly tannic Sangiovese wines, but recently winemakers have learned to tame the searing acidity and often coarse tannins.

Classic Brands and SourcesCantina di Venosa, Donnachiara, Feudi di San Gregorio, Mastroberardino, Paternoster Don Anselmo, S.Molettieri,

Characteristics:  the Aglianico grape makes a full-bodied red wine with firm tannins and acidity that many think equal or surpass the fine Italian wines made from Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Traditionally, however, Aglianico has not had large production and distribution, nor the notoriety of Brunellos or Barolos.

Aromas include black fruits, leather, and earthiness tones of mushroom and black truffle.  On taste, the acidity and tannins giving a rustic sensation are noticeable in young wines, but with aging of 10 years or more, the wine exhibits dried fruit aromas with dusty, fine tannins and spiced finish.

Style #1 – dry, Italian style

Body – full

Acidity – medium+

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+) to strong

Wine and food pairing guidelines: This wine pairs well with rich meats with high fat content to absorb the astringency. For non meat eaters, pair with rich umami flavors that also feature high acidity in accompanying sauces.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair: BBQ without hot capsaicin, beef, lamb, game, fatty pork, and charcuterie meats such as prosciutto, Tuscan salami, pancetta, smoked meat, cold cuts, and sausages.

Cheese Pairings: Asiago, Bel Pase, Fontina, Grana Padano, Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone, Taleggio.

Appetizer Pairings:  See Appetizers that pair with Sangiovese