Saturday, January 16, 2010

Terredora Di Paolo Aglianico 2008 Campania IGT

One of the greatest revelations for me over the last few years as I have become more and more serious about learning all I that I can about wine, has been the realization that so many countries now have regions beyond their most famous ones that are producing fantastic wines. Everyone knows Napa Valley in the United States, but have you had a great wine from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the Columbia Valley in Washington, or even the Finger Lakes Region in New York? Most casual wine drinkers have had a French Bordeaux or a Spanish Rioja, but have you tried any of the great values coming from the Languedoc in France or Jumilla in Spain? This list could go on and on in today’s global wine world. There are so many different corners of the world that are producing great wine, that it is hard for even the experts to keep track of them all these days.

Another country that has a fantastic diversity of great wines is Italy. Many still just think of Chianti or other Tuscan wines when they think of Italy, but there are great wines coming from Piedmont in the north all they way down to Calabria and Sicily in the south.

Today’s topic is a strong value that I found from the Terradora Di Paolo winery in Campania in Southern Italy. The region of Campania primarily grows the white Greco di Tufo grape and the red Aglianico varietal. Aglianico has been grown in Southern Italy for centuries. The grape was brought to Italy by Greek settlers centuries ago, and the name Aglianico itself is a rough translation of the term Hellenic. The varietal is a late ripening one that can’t be ripened effectively much further north than Campania, but when it can be ripened properly it can produce some very interesting results. The family running the Terredora Di Paolo winery has been growing Aglianico for about 35 years, and they started their own winery operation in 1994. They are the largest producer in Campania with vineyard holdings of about 600 acres.

The Terredora Di Paolo Aglianico 2008 has a nice ruby-purple color in your glass. The nose is dominated by black raspberry and blackberry fruit. On the palate, the wine is fruit forward with lots of dark berry flavor, but this is no simple fruit bomb. The wine has very intense but pleasant acidity for a fruit driven red, and the tannins provide additional balance. The finish has a little length to it and brings an added layer of spice and minerality. Overall this Aglianico has some very nice flavor and structure. There is quite a bit going on here for a bottle that retails for about $14 and delivers great value for the money.

This wine can be pretty versatile from a pairing standpoint, but I think it would go best with a tasty meat lasagna. It would also work well with beef prepared just about any way. If you need some recipe ideas, Terredora Di Paolo has a great English language website with some very interesting looking recipes. You can find it here So give this interesting and delicious red from Campania a try, and remember that there are literally hundreds of fantastic wine regions in the world. How many have you discovered yet?


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