The wine I tasted there, "Pipoli" has proven hard to track down regularly, so I've tried a few lesser Aglianicos along the way to try to find an Italian red other than Nero D'Avola that Mr Purple Teeth and I can get behind. I remained unsatisfied.
Yes, there are plenty of great Italian wines out there, but we like black fruit flavour and that's harder to find, in combination with affordable prices and decent quality.
Step in The Wine Society. At £14.95 this Alvolo Aglianico 2008 won't be in my glass every night of the week, but it's my birthday this week, so I thought, when better to give it a try?
This wine suited that mood perfectly.
At the first sip, I thought, "Heathcliff".
It's dark and brooding like a stormy night on the moors. Cathy is calling.
Heathcliff is silent.
This is a seriously dark wine. Thick and opaque, even with a candle in front of it, it's dense.
Strong and plentiful tannin is fine grained and velvety. It's balanced by the acidity which provides a glimpse of sunlight behind those storm clouds.
At a push, I might find an overripe raspberry. Then I get spice and a hint of soft vanilla from the time in oak. Like a pleasing smile from our man on the moors.
Full bodied, hefty, almost chewy, this is a serious wine. It would have benefitted from being served with a meal, rather than with a laughter track from Mr Purple Teeth watching The Big Bang Theory. Incongruous does not begin to describe it.
Our association with the bird of prey, though, might also be apt.
Serious and strong, if it were a creature, it might well be a vulture. It would have no qualms about picking clean your carcass.
A party wine it's not.
But like Heathcliff, the tortured romantic hero, this keeps me coming back for more.
I managed to save a glass.
I was rewarded.
Next day, the wine was even more appealing. Heathcliff played by Johnny Depp, perhaps?
It will benefit from patience. Pour and leave for at least an hour. Decanting could also help, or aeration (see link below). It's not filtered, so if you can be bothered, decanting is likely preferable to remove any fine grained sediment.
This is not a wine for the faint-hearted, but if you like your wine big and bold, dark and stormy, you'll love this.
I'll be back for more. Just like Cathy.