A few years ago, I attendet a tasting led by the journalist Luciano Pignataro, who is a great wine expert, especially in south Italy wines. The tasting focused on the Aglianico grape and on its styles as a result of the different regions where the variety has adapted over time, all located in the south Italy. On that occasion, I tasted for the first time a Michele Laluce Winery’s an Aglianico del Vulture of. During the Vinitaly Special Edition I had the opportunity to taste Laluce’s Aglianico again, focusing expecially Le Drude 2013. But let us go in order.
The Azienda Agricola Michele Laluce is located in Ginestra, in the Basilicata region, in the Vulture area between the municipalities of Barile and Venosa, at an altitude of about 400-450 meters above sea level. The soil of the entire area is vulcanic and the six hectares vineyard of the Laluce Winery are planted on calcareous, clayey and marly soils, facing south-east. The vineyards are managed with Guyot training and maniacal care is paid to each plant. The Winery also decided to follow organic agriculture rules, with the maximum respect for the environment.
The Winery is located in one of the most suitable areas for the cultivation of Aglianico, a grape used to produce Aglianico del Vulture Superiore Le Drude. It is a grape variety that requires a lot of effort, as it is not very productive, rarely exceeding 2 kg of grapes per plant, with the yields not usually being higher than 60-70 quintals per hectare. Aglianico is also characterised by a long vegetative period, exposed to various weather hazards. Harvesting is manual and it often takes place in late Autumn, at the end of October.
The same care that Michele Laluce applies to the vineyard can also be found in the winemaking process. The grapes are soft pressed and the fermentation takes place in controlled temperature stainless steel tanks with selected yeast. After racking, the wine is subjected to two different ageing processes. The first lasts for about one year, with 70% maturing in stainless steel vats and 30% in tonneau barrels. After this, the second ageing process requires these to be blended together, and then the wine ages for at least another 24 months in large oak vessels. The maturation process ends with at least 12 months in the bottle.
Now let’s move on to the tasting of Aglianico del Vulture Superiore Le Drude 2013. The name of the wine, Le Drude, is the one given by the Piedmontese soldiers during the Italian Risorgimento to the women of the Lucanian brigands, and this wine is dedicated to their braveness.
It is a ruby colour wine with garnet reflections on the rim. The wine is fruity with hints of blackberry and blueberry, berry jam, with some notes of forest floor, aromatic herbs like thyme and Mediterranean vegetation. On the nose, itis certainly complex. On the mouth, it is austere with a good freshness, significant tannins and the typical mineral imprint of the territory. The wine is still young despite it being eight years after harvest; it really is a powerful wine with persistent retro olfactory sensations of liquorice. The great allows us to think that the wine could have a long life ahead.
The wine is as vigorous as the courage of the women of the Lucanian brigands, and it is enjoyable at the same time. The wine is the son of a great wine growing area, but also of the wise hand of Michele Laluce. I would like to drink more .. I hope it can happen as soon as possible.