The Magliocco dolce
Ancient grape variety of Greek origin, the Magliocco dolce is one of the most widely grown cultivars in the vineyards of Calabria, from North to South of the region but it is also present in some area of Basilicata, where it is known as Vujanese or Aglianico di Cassano. Widespread in the Terre di Cosenza (Lands of Cosenza), it has received different names depending on the geographical areas in which it is cultivated. On the Pollino it is called “Guarnaccia”, in Savuto “Arvino” elsewhere “Terravecchia”, “Merigallo”, “Maglioccuni”, “Marsigliana” “Greco nero”.
The diversity of names together with the conviction of the winegrowers of cultivating vines that are different from each other are due to local microselections. These have diversified the bunch morphology ( in some areas it is small and wingless in other elongated with very pronounced wings) and it rise to a multiplicity of ecotypes. In any cases, ripeness is late, the skin is pruinose and thick with violet blue shades. Polyphenolic framework is rich (with tannins and anthocyanins, especially malvidin, in evidence) and it brings to wines with good structure which are suitable for aging. The acidity, especially in high hills accommodation, is pronounced and persistent in ripening.
Historically, for classification problems, magliocco was confused with gaglioppo from Cirò, which is instead a quite different grape that has different composition, morphology and genetic information.
Whoever, vintage being equal, compare a glass of Gaglioppo to one of Magliocco will notice the difference: orange with notes tending to bricky the first one, purple with vaguely blue notes the second one.
The magliocco is a difficult to grow grape and it is difficult wit magliocco to make wine too, but its force is generally softened, its production is reduced and it is harvested at full maturity (which for areas of high hill might also means the beginning of November), It gives surprisingly elegant wines, heavily mineralized and savory ones with hints of incense and notes of wild berries in strong evidence. The essential strategy is to wait for the phenolic maturation so the exuberant tannins soften and become less noticeable.