Elena Fucci Titolo Aglianico del Vulture 2015
“The 2015 Aglianico del Vulture Titolo is gorgeous and geared toward the lover of all things earth and mineral. Here I’m finding a blend of ripe cherry, violets, crushed stone and ash, giving way to hints of dried orange peel and animal musk. The silky textures are contrasted by balsamic-tinged red berries, inner florals and marine-inspired minerality. The 2015 is energetic and spicy to the core, but so savory as well – more like food than wine. This tapers off long, zesty and vibrant, with saturating black fruits and tannins that come in late but linger for over a minute. This wine is a beast. Drinking window: 2021-2032. 94 points
Elena Fucci is located in the heart of the Aglianico del Vulture production zone. Fucci is the fourth generation of her family to grow grapes in these soils of volcanic ash, in a location that spans the Titolo lava channel at 650 meters above sea level. It’s one of the highest-elevation vineyards of the region, planted with vines that average 60 years old – and some are even older. These lands were first purchased in the 1960s by Fucci’s grandfather, Generoso, who was a grower more than a winemaker. However, the high elevations of the vineyard, which at that time was known as Solagna, appealed to his common sense as a farmer and his desire to get the best price for his fruit. What he didn’t sell, he would make into wine, which only the family would drink. However, when the farm was left to the next generation, the decision was made to sell. Elena Fucci struggled with the thought of losing her childhood home and, feeling a serious connection to the vines and territory, she convinced her parents to allow her to tend to the vineyard and became a winemaker.
It all started with one wine, Titolo. Today, the idea of creating a single-vineyard expression in Vulture is common, but this was not the case 20 years ago. Elena Fucci helped to change all of that. When I look back to tastings from only five or six years ago, her wines stood out for their chiseled clarity, purity of fruit and structure. In a region where most producers would sell their fruit to the large houses, for blending into massive productions, Fucci instead decided to use only the best fruit from her family’s vineyards to create a wine that spoke of variety and place. Since that time, the portfolio has expanded, but in all of the right ways. This was my first introduction to the Titolo by Amphora, which is sourced from a selection of grapes in the vineyard, fermented leaving a large percentage of clusters intact, and then matured in terra-cotta amphorae for 18 months. Then there is the barrique-aged 2013 Riserva, which is a selection from within the selection that was made for the flagship Titiolo in that vintage, bottled in magnum, of which there were only 400 made. Also, a new project, SCEG (which means “pomegranate” in local dialect), marries Elena Fucci’s winemaking skills with the fruit of surrounding local farmers who have been family friends since her grandfather’s generation. These are all parcels in close proximity to Titolo with 70-plus-year-old vines. The wine is refined all in 500-liter tonneaux for a year, and it represents a more approachable but still classically styled Aglianico. Lastly, there is the flagship wine, Titolo, which still holds its position at the head of the pack.”
Eric Guido, Vinous (07/21)