Azienda Agricole Macchialupa is a small yet impressive operation established in 2001 by Angelo Valentino, a Oenologist specializing in Fiano di Avellino and Aglianico di Taurasi, and Giuseppe Ferrara, an Agronomist viticulturist with a knack for farming excellent Greco di Tufo. Located northeast of Naples in the Valle del Sabato, sandwiched at the border between the province of Avellino and that of Beveneto, the estate possesses 20 acres of vineyards which are planted 1476 ft. above sea level. 50% of the land is dedicated to Aglianico, while 35% is planted to Greco di Tufo and 15% to Fiano. Dense fog and cool breezes from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea temper the climate in the vineyards, contributing to the slow ripening of grapes, preservation of acidity and development of complex flavor profiles. Aglianico can be harshly tannic and relentlessly acidic, but in the hands of talented viticulturists and winemakers like Giuseppe and Valentino, it can be spectacularly refined and elegant with the ability to age for well over a decade. Considered ‘the Barolo of the south’, Aglianico like this incredible 2011 Azienda Agricole Macchialupa Taurasi is hard to come by, and thus, we were ecstatic to procure this for our Red Cellar Trio club!
This 100% Aglianico from the Taurasi DOCG is a shining example of how polished this often times very rustic wine can be. The aromatics are assertive and abundant, showcasing black plum, cassis liqueur, eucalyptus, black licorice, cured olives, damp earth and spiced tea. These notes carry over to the hearty, medium-bodied palate which offers a lovely fusion of tannin, acid and impeccably concentrated fruit. Having aged for 14 months in 2nd and 3rd use barrels and despite it being seven years old now, the tannins are still fairly grippy yet they are kept in check by a surge of vibrant acidity that emerges on the mid-palate. Mouthcoating, spicy, earthy and powerful, this is a seriously impressive version of Aglianico that exemplifies the ‘old world’ style to a T! This is not your casual sipping wine, and rather, demands an equally robust meal such as Osso Bucco or pizza with fennel sausage, olives and mushrooms.