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Aglianico focus: Is it the Nebbiolo of the south?

At its best, this traditional grape variety from Italy’s torrid southern territory makes top-quality and long-lived reds. Andy Howard MW explores the character of Aglianico, selecting the best producers and his top 12 wines...

The future for Aglianico looks promising. This ancient grape is the signature red variety in the rugged, beautiful regions of Campania and Basilicata, and wine quality is on a steep upward trajectory. It should be on every wine lover’s radar.

Aglianico is sometimes called the ‘Nebbiolo of the south’, but this really doesn’t do the grape justice. Like Nebbiolo, wines made from Aglianico have inherent quality and a remarkable ability to age, with many examples showing alluring floral aromatics when young, and developing spice and herbal nuances with time in bottle. The wines will almost certainly differ in colour (Nebbiolo has thin skins, whereas Aglianico is thick-skinned), while both share high acidity and plentiful tannins – the latter characteristic sometimes makes Aglianico a difficult choice for consumers.

Howard’s pick: 12 top Aglianicos

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