91 points

NV Prima Materia Aglianico, Kelsey Bench, Lake County

Seriously big, brazenly bold with structure and a 91 pts pedigree. Ripe dark cherry and red plum set up a cascade of licorice, black pepper and chocolate. A Southern Italian varietal to rival the best Mountain Cabs of Napa, but with Italian flair.

Tasting Notes

"This is a seriously structured and concentrated multi-vintage blend that's based in dark chocolate, black pepper and pomegranate flavors and coated in firm, fine-grained tannins."   

- 91 points Wine Enthusiast

Our biggest, boldest red wine. Black fruits with black cherry, dark plums, licorice, baking spice, graphite, cassis, and a touch of roasted herbs. Medium acidity and grippy signature tannins are definitley present, but in refined, crafted form. Good minerality. Like a mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon, but more Italianate.

Winemaking:

Hand harvested. Native fermentation in bins, gentle hand punchdowns after a cold harvest and roughly 4-5-day soak. Just a bit of whole cluster as Aglianico doesn’t seem to like very much for us. Bins fermented to different peak temperatures. 16-20 days fermenting then wood-basket pressed at dryness. No sulfur added for one year, no racking until bottling after 30 months in neutral barrels (average).

Vineyard:

Grown at 1450 feet elevation. Taurasi Clones VCR 2 (adds acidity plus earth, beautifully rustic) and 7 (fruit, spice, small open clusters, more “modern”) planted in 2003. Approximately 7% Montepulciano interplanted. Nearly dry farmed. No pesticides or herbicides.

Vintages:

A study in contrasts. 2017 for us had double “normal” rain fall, and a rollercoaster of heat spikes and cool days, yielding acid-driven, spicy wines of lower alcohol. 2018 was back to sustained heat, and less than ¼ of the rainfall the prior vintage enjoyed, yielding a broad palate, lower acidity and deeper color and fruit tones. 2018 also had abnormally elegant fine-grained tannins, with Fall perhaps mirroring its homeland in the volcanic Campanian mountains.

Why non-vintage? We had 6 weeks of fire in Lake County during 2018, and blending vintages insured that any smoke level would be totally undetectable.

Aromas & Flavors

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White Delights Racy Reds Big & Bold

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Wine Pairing

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Take Our Wine Quiz

Pinot, Cabernet, Chardonnay. Unless you just teleported onto the planet, you probably know about these wines. But did you know that there are over 8000 artisan winemakers in the USA making amazing wines with over 35 different grape varieties?

We search out these unique wines, and our wine discovery quiz can help you find the ones you might like. Our quiz algorithms match tastes and aromas you enjoy with the characteristics of different wine types to suggest new wines you should try and wine aromas to seek out. It's easy, fun and takes about 5 minutes.

White Delights Racy Reds Big & Bold

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NV Prima Materia Aglianico, Kelsey Bench, Lake County

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NV Prima Materia Aglianico, Kelsey Bench, Lake County

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Tasting Notes

"This is a seriously structured and concentrated multi-vintage blend that's based in dark chocolate, black pepper and pomegranate flavors and coated in firm, fine-grained tannins."   

- 91 points Wine Enthusiast

Our biggest, boldest red wine. Black fruits with black cherry, dark plums, licorice, baking spice, graphite, cassis, and a touch of roasted herbs. Medium acidity and grippy signature tannins are definitley present, but in refined, crafted form. Good minerality. Like a mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon, but more Italianate.

Winemaking:

Hand harvested. Native fermentation in bins, gentle hand punchdowns after a cold harvest and roughly 4-5-day soak. Just a bit of whole cluster as Aglianico doesn’t seem to like very much for us. Bins fermented to different peak temperatures. 16-20 days fermenting then wood-basket pressed at dryness. No sulfur added for one year, no racking until bottling after 30 months in neutral barrels (average).

Vineyard:

Grown at 1450 feet elevation. Taurasi Clones VCR 2 (adds acidity plus earth, beautifully rustic) and 7 (fruit, spice, small open clusters, more “modern”) planted in 2003. Approximately 7% Montepulciano interplanted. Nearly dry farmed. No pesticides or herbicides.

Vintages:

A study in contrasts. 2017 for us had double “normal” rain fall, and a rollercoaster of heat spikes and cool days, yielding acid-driven, spicy wines of lower alcohol. 2018 was back to sustained heat, and less than ¼ of the rainfall the prior vintage enjoyed, yielding a broad palate, lower acidity and deeper color and fruit tones. 2018 also had abnormally elegant fine-grained tannins, with Fall perhaps mirroring its homeland in the volcanic Campanian mountains.

Why non-vintage? We had 6 weeks of fire in Lake County during 2018, and blending vintages insured that any smoke level would be totally undetectable.

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