2016 Giornata Aglianico, French Camp Vineyard, Paso Robles, California (750 ml)

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It’s not often that we come across a domestic Aglianico, not to mention one that upholds the integrity of the grape as it is known in its homeland of Campania and Basilicata in southern Italy. But if anyone can make a shockingly Italian-style wine in California, it’s Giornata in Paso Robles, and we have touted their merits for many years now. Complex aromas of black plum, violet, red licorice, leather and sweet tobacco leap from the glass and carry through to the medium-bodied, juicy palate. More savory elements emerge here including marjoram, thyme, sage and clove, balanced by vibrant notes of crushed black cherry. Despite the mouthfilling quality and intensity of flavors, the wine still feels elegant and poised, showcasing fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. This calls for something Italian of course like braised chicken thighs with tomato, garlic and herbs!

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