Here’s the link for previous entries in the Italian Grape Name & Appellation Pronunciation Project.
When I first launched the Italian Grape Name & Appellation Pronunciation Project I wanted to give a voice to Italian winemakers by creating a public platform where they could “speak” their grapes. The pronunciation of their grape names — their ampelonyms — can often prove challenging for Anglophones.
But as the project expands, I’m including a “layperson” of wine in this entry.
My friend Giovanni Gagliardi is not a winemaker: he’s what I call a “cultural entrepreneur” of Italian wine. A native of Calabria, he curates a website devoted to the wines of Calabria (VinoCalabrese.it) and he travels the country attending and speaking at all sorts of wine festivals (that’s how we met).
But most of all I wanted to include him because he is a simpaticone (see photo taken from his Facebook below).
In this week’s entry, Giovanni speaks “Magliocco,” a grape that we’ve seen very little of in the U.S. but that is making new inroads here.
Where Cirò is known for its Gaglioppo, the winemakers of Cosenza view Magliocco as the greatest indigenous expression of their enologic landscape.
In the U.S., I’ve tasted superb bottlings of Magliocco, including wines by Terra di Balbia (by my good friend Giampaolo Venica) and Librandi. And there are more and more wines making it here.
Magliocco (also called Magliocco Canino, Magliocco Ovale, and Magliuacculu) is a tannic grape with a wonderful roundness to it (when vinified monovarietally), good dark red fruit, and healthy acidity. The Terra di Balbia Magliocco is one of the best selling wines by the glass at Sotto in Los Angeles (where I author the wine list).
Thanks for speaking Italan grapes!