2005 Paternoster "Rotondo" Aglianico del Vulture (Elsewhere $50)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very dark glass-staining ruby. Ripe and smoky on the nose, offering vibrant red cherry and blueberry scents along with licorice and smoky oak spices. Juicy and fine-grained, with bright acids giving definition to the ripe flavors of black cherry, espresso and candied violet. Starts suave and apparently seamless, but the long finish features substantial tongue-drying tannins that call for patience. 90(+?) points
Rotondo means round and this wine is squarely intent on delivering soft, round and velvety tones of black cherry, vanilla, spice and other oak-related aromas. This black and inky Aglianico del Vulture is aged in French barrique for 14 months, lending a modern twist to Basilicata’s most traditional wine. — M.L.