The second wine I tried during class at the Texas Wine School (website) was the 2016 Duchman Aglianico.
The notes for this wine say:
100% Aglianico, a sun-loving, middle-Italian grape variety. Natural acidity and tannins, aged in mostly neutral oak barrels. Double gold in 2019 SFO Int’l Wine Comp. Offers notes of black cherry, plum, smoke and other savory nuances.
This wine was grown at Oswald Vineyards in Texas High Plains.
Aglianico is perhaps the wine that most represents the vision of Duchman Family Winery. The grape was not widely known in the States, and pronouncing the name was an issue, but the potential of this grape to produce amazing wines was far more important than its popularity. Taking a gamble on this grape is one of our proudest moments, and the result is one of our greatest wines. With layers of dried cherry, cranberry and stewed fruit, it has firm tannins, hints of dried herbs and baking spices. (website)
I get a slight spice with undertones of dry concrete. I think that means I’m picking up on the minerality – but once it sits out a bit, it has a slight sweet smell to me. I thought the taste was very earthy with a spicy finish.
According to the winemaker they use 10% new and 90% neutral barrels to age the wine – “it has to be barreled.” Under that I wrote ‘American’ – but I’m not sure if I meant all the barrels were or only the 10% of the new barrels were… Regardless it ages one year in the barrel and a year in the bottle.
It was actually better the next day and seemed more full bodied then. I also got a bit of the Texas High Plains flavor I’ve started to notice in the grapes grown there. The steak quesadilla brought out the flavor well (as did the spicy white queso). And yes, I know you really should drink red with steak, but it was Monday and the bottle was open.
My ultimate notes on this wine say: “Would I buy it? No. Would I drink it? Yes.” So, while it would not be something I bought myself, I would enjoy it while out to dinner or at a friend’s house. If you truly appreciate the nuances of a Aglianico, then this is the wine for you. Definitely, a Saturday night, nowhere to be the next day. But – one note from the winemaker – this wine will age well, so unlike the Vermentino – you could cellar it.