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Carbone is a relatively new producer of Aglianico del Vulture. Located in Melfi, Basilicata, close to the Vulture volcano, in an ancient cellar hewn out of the black lava rock, the Carbone family first planted Aglianico vines in the 1970s. Up until vintage 2005 the family sold fruit to the then traditional cantina of Paternoster. From that year on Sara and her brother Luca have bottled their fruit themselves, with Sergio Paternoster as their consultant winemaker. They own 18 hectares, of which 10 are planted in the sooty, potassium rich, black volcanic soils of the Piani dell’Incoronata vineyards at 550 msl and a further 8 on clay, more suitable to the likes of white Fiano. Vinification takes place in stainless steel, with invecchiamento/elevage in used and new French barrique and tonneaux. Very much benchmark plus expressions of this noble, but relatively unknown grape variety, the so-called ‘Nebbiolo of the South’, the family produce an earlier drinking Aglianico del Vulture called "400 Some", after the 400 mules belonging to King Carlo d’Angio of Southern Italy. While their "Stupor Mundi" Aglianico del Vulture celebrates the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250) and stems from the Carbone’s old Piani dell’Incoronata vineyard close to Melfi, with its historic castello. Fruit of the chocolate brown volcanic soils that surround Monte Vulture, this is full-bodied Aglianico and white Fiano grapes at its very best!
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The Carbone family celebrate Aglianico del Vulture’s rise to prominence by releasing their Stupor Mundi 2011 as a DOCG wine; that means 20% lower yields, more intensity and three years’ ageing, of which Carbone has doubled the requirement to two years in new French tonneaux. The result is a kirsch, red damson-fruited wine, with elegance and a notable salty minerality to complement the blackcurrant skin crunch. Full, suave, complete, the product of 15 days’ maceration on the skins, a super ripe dark fruit core and plenty of refreshing pip zip. David Berry Green The Carbone family celebrate Aglianico del Vulture’s rise to prominence by releasing their 2011 Stupor Mundi as a DOCG wine; that means 20 percent lower yields, more intensity and three years’ ageing, of which two were in French tonneaux (double the legal requirement). The result is a kirsch, damson-fruited wine, with elegance and a notable salty-minerality to complement the blackcurrant-skin crunch. Full, suave, complete, the product of 15 days’ maceration on the skins, this has a super-ripe, dark-fruit core and plenty of refreshing zip. Luca and his sister Sara Carbone are part of a new wave of Aglianico producers, with vines planted deep in the ancient lava flows of the now extinct Monte Vulture, Basilicata. Having at one time sold off the fruit, they have – since 2005 – been making the wines themselves, thanks to a new cantina built in 2009, and to the experience of consultant Sergio Paternoster. Carbone now has 18 hectares of vines around the town of Melfi, also noted for its magnificent Norman castle.
Case price (12)
Case saving £29.88
Bottle 6 x 75cl
From the family’s oldest vines outside Melfi, ‘Stupor Mundi’ (in hommage to Frederic the second), has a distinctly fine and intense feel. Instead of the broad black fruit of ‘400 Some’, there are redder, more bramble-based and loganberry notes, suggesting a superior site with brighter and tighter acidity. The step-up in quality is confirmed on the elegant palate where a streak of great purity, charm and fine detail is on offer. David Berry Green