The Lucky Leading Lady of Luconia


Elena Fucci’s 2016 Aglianico del Vulture ‘Titolo’ is a wine built for the long haul. It should continue its steady evolution over the next 20 years if not more. Stitched together with enormous precision, the wine offers balanced intensity and a beautiful level of fruit purity that speaks both to the Aglianico grape and the extreme territory that shapes it. This vintage finishes on a dry note with fine texture and elegantly integrated tannins. The wine is aged in barrique for 12 months, of which half is new oak with various levels of toast. The vines range from 50 to 70 years old and are planted up to 650 meters above sea level. Some 28,000 bottles were produced. Drink: 2019-2035. 94 points

On a playlist of the region’s best wine producers, Elena Fucci is my Leading Lady of Lucania. (Lucania is another, more historic name for Basilicata.) Based in Barile on the cool side of the Vulture volcano, she farms a mere six hectares of old vines in black volcanic soils mixed with compressed ash and pumice stone. She inherited those vines as a young woman from her family and started the Elena Fucci brand in the year 2000.

We have shipped 2016 Titolo to London City Bond ‘Vinotheque’, just for you, this time in bottles, magnums, double magnums and one HUGE bottle that I think they call it ‘El Presidente’? But we’ll keep that one for the next time a democratic Prez. is voted in to take charge of dear old Venezuela. And once the teetotalling, bird twitching, bus driver is politely removed from office. By then this large FORMAT will be just in time for drinking. Or for my 66th Birthday celebrations, if I make it, that is to say. 

R.I.P. (Regular Investment Plan, of course!)

The 2016 Titolo from Elena Fucci is another Tour de Force from this incredible Italian winemaker. The nose needs coaxing at this early stage ‌in its life, but is volcanic and complex, with notes of crushed rocks, smoke, dark fruit, freshly picked herbs and wild flowers. It’s the palate where Elena’s skill really shines, with a level of finesse and refinement to the texture that’s truly remarkable. Aglianico is a tannic variety, and it’s true that this coats the mouth, but the tannins are so fine, elegant and mineral that this is already delicious. That said, you’d be wise to leave it a few years, to watch it blossom into a truly great wine. 2018-2028