Our tasting impressions
We haven't tasted this yet. By the time we would get a sample to tell you how extraordinary it is, likely it would all be gone. It's a great vintage and this library release means you don't have to wait so long to enjoy it. Purchasing this blind is like buying Latour, except Elena may be more consistently reliable.
About this wine
100% Aglianico from Mount Vulture in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy. The Fucci vines are the oldest on this dormant volcano - most are about 60-years old, some older. The 6-hectare vineyard of Contrada Solagna of Titolo is 650 meters above sea level. The soil is volcanic lava and ash - what the locals call pozzolana - formed when the volcano slept for hundreds of years between eruptions. The high altitude produces grapes with less sugar than in other areas where Aglianico grows. The mountain gets more sun than almost anywhere in the world, so ripening in the cooler temperatures isn't a problem.
The finest grapes from her oldest vines are segregated for the Superiore and Riserva. They are manually harvested, de-stemmed and crushed in small batches. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 22-24°C. Malolactic fermentation is in 200-liter French oak (50% new), where the wine ages for one year. Then Elena moves it to 500-liter Tonneaux for another 2 years before bottling. It is released after one year more of cellaring.
About the grape
Though not widely known, Aglianico is considered one of Italy's three most prestigious grape varieties - along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. Grown mostly in southern Italy, Aglianico is at its best from Campania and Basilicata (for the latter, the finest examples are from Mount Vulture). It thrives in a warm and dry climate.
The grapes are slow to ripen and have one of the longest growing seasons of any wine variety - sometimes harvest can extend into November. It is a highly acidic grape with firm tannins and considerable concentration.
About the vintage
Yields in 2013 were very small. As is often the case, the result is increased concentration, intensity and quality. One of the great vintages of this century on Monte Vulture. Well made wines have remarkable freshness and mineral-driven flavors.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855
Elena Fucci started her wine tenuta in 2000, saving the 6-hectares of vineyards her grandfather purchased 40 years prior in Barile on the slope of Mount Vulture - a dormant volcano. Previously, her family sold the grapes or made wine for themselves.
Her vineyards are the oldest on the volcano and from the start she has produced a single wine from the vineyard of Contrada Solagna del Titolo, simply called Titolo. She does offer an occasional variation on Titolo - like her Amphora version and the 20th Anniversary edition - and in strong vintages, she reserves her best grapes for Titolo Superiore and Riserva bottlings.
Elena is passionate about her work and her wines. She built a new winery, connected to the original cellar by a tunnel through the volcanic rock. She is rightly proud that the facility has a zero energy footprint. In such a short time, she has risen quickly to the pantheon of Aglianico producers in Italy. VDLT is proud to offer, what is likely the most comprehensive compilation of her wines in America.