In the UK the grape variety Aleatico is probably best known as the grape variety used in sweet, red dessert wines made in the region of Puglia in the south of Italy.
Aleatico is a red muscat flavoured grape that is thought to be a dark-skinned variant of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, which is the main grape in wines such as Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Rivesaltes and the wines of Asti including Moscato di Asti. Aleatico is most commonly grown in Puglia but there are also plantings in Chile, Australia and California. Aleatico is also famous for Aleatico di Portferraio wine made on the Mediterranean island of Elba where Napolean Bonaparte was famously exiled and it is thought to have a favourite of the deposed Emporer.
At Fareham Wine Cellar we stock Candido Aleatico Salice Salentino DOC. Candido are one of the most famous wineries in the Puglia region and have been producing wine since 1929. They are located in Salento, the “heel of Italy” where the climate is classically Mediterranean with ts prevailing winds, cool nights, very low rainfall and for the moderating influence of the sea. The extreme difference between day and night temperatures, due to these winds, allow slow ripening of the grapes and the development of desirable aroma and flavour compounds.
See the latest vintage of Aleatico here.
Candido Aleatico Salice Salentino DOC 50cl
This 100% Aleatico is naturally sweet. The grapes are crushed at controlled temperature. The natural sweetness is maintained by interrupting fermentation by repeated racking to remove yeast. The wines also aged in oak barrels. Typical sweetness level are 140g/L residual sugar and 14.5% alcohol by volume.
Candido Aleatico is a light red, crimson colour developing some brown colour around the rim as might be expected for a wine of this age. The nose it mature, there are aromas of red fruit and dried fruit notes. The plate is medium to sweet with a good acid backbone. There are characteristics of raisins and muscat notes on the palate which is soft, lingering but not cloying.
This is quite a powerful wine. I always describe Candido Aleatico as like a Port, but not fortified, which seems to help get the idea across. It should be served lightly chilled and is a great match for blue cheese, pastries, anything with almonds in and it also goes pretty well with chocolate desserts.