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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114


Oliver McCrum Wines has been importing small production Italian wine and distributing to fine retail and restaurant establishes throughout California since 1994. Over time, our portfolio of producers has steadily grown to over 45 producers from 15 different regions of Italy. We look for typical Italian wines with clarity and freshness, usually made from indigenous Italian grape varieties using clean, transparent winemaking techniques and no obvious use of oak. 


Aglianico is the best known 'big red' grape in southern Italy, and there are two places where it grows particularly well, Taurasi in Campania and Monte Vulture in Basilicata. The areas are less than two hours from each other, both are volcanic in geology, and both produce magnificent red wines, amongst the most ageworthy in Italy (or anywhere else, for that matter). Grifalco is an excellent producer of Aglianico del Vulture owned by the Piccin family, who were originally wine producers in Tuscany but decided that southern Italy, Basilicata in particular, was more promising. I think they're right. 

I import three different bottlings of Aglianico del Vulture from Grifalco, called Gricos, Grifalco and Damaschito. Gricos is their everyday barbeque wine, made from young vines but nonetheless meaty and substantial; Damaschito is an excellent, ageworthy, substantial red wine from an older single vineyard; and Grifalco is in the middle, showing the red fruits and garrigue that are typical here. One of the challenges in making Aglianico del Vulture is making sure that these big reds don't become bitter, and Fabrizio Piccin has done an excellent job of taming the tannins without making the wines glossy or 'International.' Vulture is indisputably one of the best appellations in southern Italy, and I am delighted to represent this excellent producer.

Aglianico del Vulture 'Gricos'

100% Aglianico estate-grown in four different vineyards in the Vulture area (vine age: 15 yrs)

Vinified in a forward, drinkable style but still an ample, very flavorful red wine with a deep plummy color

Aged in large barrels for 12 months

Production: 2500 cases

Drink with beef, lamb, cheeses or substantial pasta dishes

Aglianico del Vulture 'Grifalco'

100% Aglianico estate-grown in four different vineyards in the Vulture area (vine age: 30-40 yrs)

Extended maceration, then aged in stainless steel (80%) and small and medium sized oak (20%)

Production: 2500 cases

Drink now or age for 3-5 years; best with red meats or cheeses

Aglianico del Vulture 'Damaschito'

100% Aglianico estate-grown in a single vineyard in the Maschito area (vine age: 40 yrs)

Extended maceration (18-24 days), then aged in large barrels of Slavonian oak for 12 months

Production: 2500 cases

Drinkable now but will definitely benefit from aging for at least 10-15 years