Luigi Maffini, Kleos, Cilento Aglianico 2017, Italy

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the Week – August 3, 2020

Luigi Maffini’s vineyards are located in Cilento in the southern heart of Campania. It is an area of immense natural beauty and home to the site of Paestum, a major ancient Greek city right on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy. The ruins of Paestum are famous for their three ancient Greek temples in the Doric order, dating from about 600 to 450 BC. In September 1943, Paestum was the location of the landing beaches of the U.S. 36th Infantry Division during the Allied invasion of Italy. The Allied forces set up their Red Cross first aid tents in, and around, the temples since they were “off limits” to bombing by both German and Allied forces. That explains why they are so well preserved and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So it is in the hills above Paestum and its beaches that the Maffini family first planted vines in the ’70s. However, the real beginning of this winery dates from 1996 when Luigi’s dream to make wines from indigenous grapes with integrity and purity from his family’s land came to life. Since his first vintage in 1996, Luigi has tended and improved the old family vineyards as the source of his exceptional fruit. He and his wife, Raffaella, run the winery and share the land with their two children and three dogs, as well as wild rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, hawks and wild boars.

Origin: Cilento, Italy
Varietals: 100% Aglianico
Sustainability: certified organic by E.U. standards
Suggested retail price: $26.99
ABV: 13.5%

The wine Kleos (meaning “famous” in Greek) is made entirely with Aglianico grapes. It shows a deep ruby color with a purple hue, a nose of black cherries, plum, currant jam with a touch of pepper and cedar. The wine is spicy, full bodied with persistent tannins and a long leathery finish. This wine will improve with a few years of cellaring and we suggest that you aerate the wine an hour before drinking it if you want to enjoy it now.

Suggested food pairings: pasta with meat sauce, game, grilled red meat and vegetables, cheeses.

> For more information, visit Luigi Maffini official website

Read about Aglianico Grape Varietal Definition.