This week I want to turn you on to another great red on the DePortola Wine trail just a mile or so down from last weeks pick. I first became familiar with Cougar Winery on a Winesday, which is a day many of the winery folk go taste whats new in Temecula. Many people know about Cougar for their sparkling wines but lately there has been a buzz about many of Ricks reds.
The Aglianico is one of them. I have introduced this wine to friends who have a sophisticated palate and newbys to the wine world and both have become instant fans.
Aglianico is a black grape grown in the Campania and Basilicata regions of Italy. The vine originated in Greece and was brought to Campania by Greek settlers. The name may be a corruption of Vitis hellenica, Latin for “Greek vine”. Another etymology derives the name Aglianico from a corruption of Apulianicum, the Latin adjective which indicates the whole of southern Italy in the Roman age. In early Roman times, it was the principal grape of the famous Falernian wine which was the Roman equivalent of a First Growth wine today.
Wines produced from Aglianico tend to be full bodied with firm tannins and high acidity, making this a wine that has aging potential. The rich flavors of the wine make it appropriate for matching with rich meats such as lamb. In Campania, the grape has been blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the production of some Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) wines.
I hope that you will enjoy this week’s pick and if you choose to swing out to Cougar between now and Christmas you can get your bottle for 15% off the regular price when you mention Taste of Temecula.
Visit Cougar Vineyard & Winery
39870 De Portola Rd