The truly wondrous thing about great wine is that it speaks of where it comes from. That sense of having come from a discrete site or location and capable of reflecting those characters in it’s shape and location. One of the top three Italian red varieties along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, Aglianico is often referred to as the Nebbiolo of the south. While it has an ability to covert site specific nuances it always preserves its identity. A combination and balance of rustic charm, defined acidity, powerful flavor and most importantly strong tannin. This all makes for a good translation on the Oliver’s Road site, but how best to describe a vintage in a pandemic? Problematic. A dry start to the season with lower than expected winter and spring rainfall followed by a day of intense heat right on flowering lead to some early anxiety around yields. Fires and the devastation they bring struck around Christmas and many of their growers losing the livelihoods weighed heavy as they went into vintage. Thankfully the days got cooler sooner than anticipated allowing long even ripening.
The grapes were hand-picked in early April, fermented in an open top fermenter spending 26 days on skins and receiving daily pump overs before being sent to puncheons for maturation and malolactic fermentation. The wines were bottled without fining or filtration in July 2021, with just a small dose of sulfur.