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2011 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico 

Campania, Italy

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Retail $16-$19

Greek settlers brought vines bearing what became known as the Italian varietal aglianico to southern Italy. The resulting wine became a favorite of Roman emperors. Today, aglianico is considered the top red grape in southern Italy. Located in the Campania region near Mount Vesuvius, Feudi di San Gregorio sources its grapes from estate vineyards throughout the rolling hills of the Irpinia subzone. At 1,000 to 1,600 feet above sea level, the microclimate is cooler and more stable than the rest of southern Italy, allowing slow maturation of the fruit and enabling winemakers to craft wines with great consistency. The region's soils are imbued with sandstone, marl, pumice and volcanic ash, which gives the fruit distinctive character. In the cellar, the wine is macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks over a 10-day period, followed by a second fermentation in wood. Prior to bottling, the wine spends about eight months in oak barriques. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of dried cherry, blackberry, earth, a hint of spice and toasty notes. On the palate, taste concentrated flavors of ripe dark fruit, cassis, dried herbs and appealing minerality. Open 20 minutes before serving. Drink it with Italian dishes, pate, charcuterie, lamb and game. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co. and Impastato Cellars. Drink it at: Dominique's on Magazine, Domenica, Ancora, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Ristorante da Piero and Carmelo Ristorante. — BRENDA MAITLAND

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