2005 Epicuro Aglianico

2005 Epicuro AglianicoPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by D’Aquino Italian Imports

What They Said:

Per the bottle “This red wine shows intense blackberry and cherry notes harmoniously exalted by a light spicy background. Smooth and velvety with a firm backbone. Perfect with red meat, ham and mature cheeses”

What I Think:

Ah my nemesis, Italian wine. I want to like them but am often confounded. The Aglianico grape I discovered at Delfina Pizzeria some time back. I have since purchased a few bottles but have paid north of $15 for each. To see this offering at TJ’s for $5 was so delightful that I bought two bottles before even tasting it. You’re probably saying “Wow, he sure did splurge!” mockingly but for me this is a rarity. These wines hail from southern Italy which is no shock to me as the other Italian varietals I enjoy (Nero d’ Avola from Sicily and Primitivo from Puglia) are found here as well. Back to my opening, perhaps it is the wines from the northern region that leave me confounded…

As soon as I got this home it ended up on the table with pizza and I quickly confirmed my intuition to buy multiple bottles was correct. On first taste, the wine struck me as light, fruity and slightly on the dry side reminding me of many Spanish efforts I enjoy. The nose showed mainly cherries with some barrel scents and spiciness lingering in the background. A great value at this price, almost a lock to make the Top 10 for January. In fact yesterday I went hunting for more but struck out as they did not have it in South San Francisco.  They did however have another offering from the same label I grabbed based on the quality found here. I’ll have to get back to Brannan Street quickly!

Rating: Bulk Buy

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17 thoughts on “2005 Epicuro Aglianico

  1. I am 0-2 here as I have been looking for a case. Nothing on Brannan or Daly City. That leaves Geary, Bay and SSF. I’m willing to go the distance for this one….

  2. I haven’t seen that one yet. I’ll take a look at TJ’s next time I am out but here in SF think we still have the ’05. Let me know what you think of the ’06. In the mean time I may grab more of the ’05 just in case… Thanks for the comments!

  3. I tried the ’06. It was only OK for me–tasted like an 8 dollar wine. Fake fruit, a lot of sugar. I was reminded of 2 buck chuck. I’m with you on the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere though. Do you get the Duo mythique at Trader Joe’s out there? I thought that was pretty good.

  4. This sounds right up my alley, given my love of Spanish wines (and my taste for Nero D’Avola when it comes to Italian varietals…). Thanks for finding my blog — I’m all about finding other cheap TJ steals!

  5. I lost a bottle due to a freak and tragic uncorking accident. Luckily I have ‘Bulk Buy’ reserves…Thanks for the rec!

  6. I recently had this Agliancio at a friend’s house and we were all raving how amazing it was for the price. My friend said she only found the one bottle at her TJ. My local TJ had tons of it so naturally I stocked up on it. I just had my first glass tonight, still good but it didn’t seem to pack the same “punch” as my first encounter.

    My vintage is 2006 and I realize you’ve been reviewing the 2005. Perhaps her bottle was 2005 as well. Have you tried the 2006 yet? Curious to know how it compared for you.

    It could also be that drinking wine w/ a friend is always more memorable and enjoyable than drinking it alone.

  7. @Marty I do have a bottle of the ’06 here right now but have yet to try it. I’ll do so at my next chance and let you know my thoughts!

  8. Jason, I think you’ll love the ’06. I never tried the ’05, but the current vintage is one of my absolute favorites at the Teedge these days (along with the Gypsy… but you know my feelings on that).

    I’m actually drinking a very exciting bottle as I write this: it’s the 2006 Epicuro Nero d’Avola, which just appeared on the shelves of my local Teedge today! I was there to buy three or four bottles of the Aglianico, but I was thrilled to see one of my favorite grape varietals offered by my favorite budget Italian producer! Like the others, this is also $4.99.

    The good news is that this is pretty delicious, and well worth the investment. It’s an extremely rustic expression of what’s already often a rustic grape. If you like your reds a little rough-edged, you won’t mind this monster. It’s opaque in the glass; the nose smells like fresh roses and firewood, and the pal tastes of cranberries and baking chocolate. It’s been out now for two hours, and it’s only starting to smooth out around the edges. However, I found it softened up really nicely when paired with some sharp cheddar. A real winner!

    I think I’ll stock up on both this bottle (as long as it lasts) AND the Aglianico — both kind of rough and juicy in their own ways, but definitely displaying their own strong and unique personalities.

  9. Epicuro now has a Nero d’ Avola! That makes my day. Having to try hard not to run out to Trader Joe’s right now. I quite enjoyed the Archero offering so can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

  10. Recently stocked up on a few bottles of the 2007… Was looking for a $5 replacement red to keep me from drinking all of my Chariot Gypsy stash and this one fits the bill. Didn’t see the Nero at my local So-Cal spot last night but will keep my eyes peeled.

  11. I found this blog by Googling Epicurio wines because I was wondering if others found them to be such a buy or if I just had very strange taste. I got this notion of buying one bottle of every $4.99 red wine TJs had being reasonably confident there would be nothing undrinkable and hoping for one that really stood out as a case buy. The Epicurios (all that I found as I have not seen the ’06) did it for me. I have to go into the $10 plus range to do better and, seeing I work at Wal-Mart, that seldom happens. I just dread the day TJ’s runs out.

  12. i have the best AGLIANICO , beaucouse the aglianico is not from benevento but……. contact me and we talk about , i’m distibutor and wines and olive oil .

    distinti saluti DE BENEDICTIS GIOVANNI
    ITALIA

  13. I recently had a bottle of 06 and it was great! I went back and only found 09 so I bought a couple bottles and did not like it at all.

  14. I have been a fan of Trader Joes wines for years now because frankly, you never know what you’re going to get. Epicuro, ‘Silver Label’ as I call it, is one of my favorite (under $10.00) wines. I am drinking the 2008 crop now and it is fantastic. If I didn’t know any better, I would pay at least $15.99 for this wine.

  15. Pingback: The Chronic Critic » The Tudors: Season 1

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