Texas Wine of the Month: Perissos Vineyard and Winery Aglianico, 2012
A big red grape from Southern Italy takes root in a Central Texas vineyard.
This is a wine for aficionados who like a balance of bold fruit and firm tannin. Grown and made on a beautiful little vineyard near Marble Falls, this estate wine from Perissos Vineyard and Winery is a testament to what some of Texas’ smaller producers are achieving with passion and a lot of hard work.
Who Likes It:
Brian Phillips, Sommelier and Manager, Eddie V’s Austin. A recent recipient of the coveted Advanced Sommelier Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, Philips is also a certified wine educator. His passion for this spirit led him to produce his own Texas wine under the label “Ground Up.” This small production wine is made from Hill Country Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional and is available at several local Austin retailers such as East End Wines, Whip In, and the soon-to-open Dai Due restaurant and butchery.
Aglianico, a highly respected Italian grape from the southern region of Campania, near the ancient town of Napoli. Wines produced from Aglianico are often full bodied with high acidity and firm tannins that require a few years of aging to allow the wine to fully develop. Aglianico wine is often richly concentrated with layered complexity revealing dark fruit and broad structure.
Why He Likes It:
“I had the opportunity to taste this wine in a recent blind tasting of Texas wines called, The Sip. I was surprised when they revealed it was an Aglianico from Perissos Vineyards and Winery near Marble Falls,” said Phillips. “This wine was dense with ripe black and blue fruits, yet fresh with bright acidity and a rocky minerality keeping it all in balance. I also noted black pepper, old leather, and black licorice providing a savory, long finish.
This Aglianico would pair well with classic Italian dishes with tomato-based sauces and roasted game meats.
On Down the Road:
This wine is a testament to the quality many Texas wineries are achieving with lesser known grape varieties. Seth Martin, winemaker and owner of Perrisos Vineyards, explained to me that Aglianico–along with Sangiovese, Dolcetto and Barbera–perform well in Central Texas because the grapes can maintain their naturally high acidity in the area’s hotter climate. Also, the decomposed granite the vines grow in suits this varietal.
It’s one small drawback that you have to travel to the winery to purchase the wine, but the major upshot is that the sixteen-acre Perrisos Vineyard was named the msot beautiful winery in the Hill Country by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Winemaker’s Note: Seth Martin
“This wine is from a Southern Italian varietal that has done very well in our Texas soil, and requires minimal manipulation as we bring it in from the field. It opens with interesting aromas of plums, raisins and licorice,” he said. “Dried floral notes linger on the medium-bodied palate of black pepper, smooth, subtle cherry and plum flavors. It finishes with a crisp acidity, hints of spice and fine tannins. Our Aglianico has won several gold medals over the years, including ‘Best of Class’ at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.”