It is thought that Aglianico is the oldest cultivated grape variety in the world…debatable, but certainly has it’s solid argument. Either way, it is a very old grape with a lengthy history in southern Italy and Greece. The history is much more recent in McLaren Vale, but the Mediterranean-like growing conditions couldn’t be more perfect for this grape to thrive. 2018 was a really great vintage for this variety and the Leask family (Hither & Yon wines) grows outstanding organically farmed Aglianico. It was an early growing season out of the gate but some mid-season showers extended the season with the late ripening variety being harvested in late April. The Somos boys treat Aglianico like Pinot Noir with a more delicate touch and whole-cluster fermentation, rather than the ‘Campanian’ extended maceration followed by long maturation in wood.
The fruit came in quite cold given autumn was in full swing by that time. 50% of the fruit was laid into tank as whole-clusters with the remaining berries destemmed and placed on top. The tank was sealed and chilled for a cold soak and starting a carbonic maceration. The fermentation warmed naturally fermentation kicked off without any additions and was plunged daily by hand. After seven days on skins it was pressed not quite dry to third and fourth fill French 300L barrels to finish primary and malolactic fermentation. Post malo it was racked back to barrel, lightly sulfured and aged for nine months prior to being blended and bottled without fining or filtration.