Aglianico, 2020, McLaren Vale

Aglianico, 2020, McLaren Vale


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Cuvée: Biodynamic Aglianico
Vintage: 2020
Grape(s): 100% Aglianico
Fermentation: Whole Bunch
Appellation: McLaren Vale
Region, Country: South Australia, Australia
Size: 750 ml
Winemaker(s): Ben Caldwell and Mauricio Ruiz Cantú

Style: Aglianico is a high octane variety, producers in Campania tend to treat it similarly to Nebbiolo and give it long macerations and consequently long maturation times in oak. We try and treat it more like Pinot Noir. Cold soaking and gentle treatment with whole-bunch ferment, which results in a lighter yet structured Aglianico; tons of spice and flowers, svelte texture, pepper-dashed red and black sour-sweet fruit character.


Picked in April it came in quite cold. About 25% was laid into tank as wholebunches, and we destemmed the rest of the fruit on top. Sealed the tank and chilled for a cold soak and to start carbonic maceration. We let it warm naturally and wild ferment and was plunged daily by hand. We basket pressed before it finished fermentation to avoid extraction of Aglianico’s typical grip. The wine finished ferment in barrel. It was racked post malo, and it matured in 3rd and 4th fill oak, and it sat for 10 months before racking and bottling unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Note

The Somos lads are on a roll and they've really stepped things up a gear here.

Somos' standard Aglianico offering has arguably been the most impressive wine in the range over the last couple of years - the guys clearly have an understanding of this late-ripening Italian variety - and this is one of the more serious Aglianicos around.  It comes from Paxton's biodynamically famed vineyard, and despite being hung out to ripen and develop flavour all the way into May, still retains remarkable acidity and freshness. 

It's so perfumed, so juicy and just so interesting.  If you've enjoyed Somos' Aglianico in the past, this is another level up.  Bravo!