2008 Elena Fucci, Aglianico del Vulture, Titolo (RT 93+) Elena Fucci is a relative newcomer to the world of wine and crafts but one bottling: Titolo. Produced entirely from estate grown fruit from 55-60-year-old vines, this winery sits on the west side of highway SS658, a stone’s throw from the Paternoster winery. She is rapidly rising toward the top of the Aglianico del Vulture producer list. Elena used 100% new French oak barriques for aging this vintage, but the barrel quality is very high and I got no notes of toast, a really pleasant surprise. Purchased on release and cellared since, this bottle was SO’d for the day and followed for three nights. Showing a dark ruby hue with no hints of garnet, notes of black fruits, spice, anise and hints of leather are framed on a mineral-built spine. Quite masculine as one expects from Vulture grown Aglianico, its well-balanced in its mouthfeel and shows a fine combination of fruit, acid and tannin. At its current age of 10 its coming together nicely. Outstanding stuff, drink from now-2030+ This is a well-priced bottling that offers terrific value, a bona fide Hot Pick! You can pick up current vintages (2013, 2014, 2015) in the $30-40 range.

2007 Paternoster, Aglianico del Vulture, Don Anselmo (RT 96) Don Anselmo is Paternoster’s flagship bottling, and in my eyes represents the most outstanding and elegant Aglianico del Vulture produced in the appellation. The soil for this wine is volcanic with significant amounts of lava and ash. Aged 50% in large Slavonian oak barrels and 50% in French barriques. SO’d for the day, then served directly from bottle. Showing a dark, deeply hued russet cast with a slight hint of a garnet rim. The bouquet that emerges shows equally dark notes of black cherry, plum, layered notes of forest floor, underbrush, hints of balsam and spice. In the mouth it reveals a sense of finesse, elegance and balance, all aspects showing in perfect harmony. Very impressive, the finish lingers, while the balance of acid and fruit is a thing of beauty. The elegance of tannin is equally masterful, showing perfect ripeness and punctuating its long finish. Drink 2020-2040. Utterly superb and living beyond its reputation! Due to very limited import levels and low production, this can be a difficult bottle to source in the market. Current vintages range from $55-65.