WE 94 / VM 94+ pts
WE: An earthy, refined nose of condensed red cherry, cranberry, violet and truffle starts off this Aglianico sourced from the Piano di Croce vineyard in Barile. There’s a real sense of elegance on the palate, where lifted elements of violet and crushed stone bring power and poise to the rich berry fruit. It’s an unforced expression that gives a real sense of place. Drink through 2030
VM: The 2016 Aglianico del Vulture Superiore Cruà takes things to a more serious level, as musky black currants, plums, flowery underbrush, wild scrub and herbs smolder up from the glass. This splashes across the palate, showing its saline-minerality up front, further accelerated by brisk acids and tart wild berries, contrasted by a wave of spicy citrus. With so many layers and a push and pull of sweet and-sour tension, it’s hard to notice that the 2016’s tannins are slowly saturating toward the close, resulting in a long, undeniably savory and classically structured finale. A minute goes by, and nuances of blackberry and tangerine still resonate throughout. While enjoyable today for its energy alone, the 2016 has a very bright future ahead of it. Cruà hails from a 40-year-old vineyard planted on volcanic, limestone-rich soils.