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Posts Tagged ‘Puglia

Sweet thang

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Primitivo di Manduria 2013, Campo Marina, Luccarelli ($21.55, 13083933)
100% Primitivo from bush vines averaging 20 to 40 years old. The grapes are destemmed and crushed, then macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular pump-overs for eight to 10 days. When malolactic fermentation is finished, the wine is matured in used American and French oak barrels for eight to 10 months. Reducing sugar: 13.1 g/l. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Vignôme.
The bottle my glass came from had been opened and recorked about 24 hours earlier. Dark and somewhat raisiny nose. Full-bodied and mouth-filling. Chock-a-block with ultra-ripe fruit (plum, blackberry, fig), round if rustic tannins, surprisingly good acidity, a fairly long finish and a certain, well, if not minerally depth then ballast. Oh, and it’s quite sweet. Actually, the residual sugar levels are about three times the maximum for what is considered a dry wine. While it’s not a style I find appealing, this isn’t as off-putting as such wines can be. It may be sweet but it isn’t full-on cloying. It may be heady but it’s not hot. There’s nothing port-like about it. And it doesn’t taste confected, unlike several popular New World reds with similar sugar levels (Ménage à Trois or Apothic Red, for example). Drinkers in search of big, bold fruit, who aren’t allergic to some sugar in their “dry” wines and for whom refreshment isn’t a primary concern can buy with confidence. Me? I’ll give it a pass. (Buy again?  Nope.)

Written by carswell

January 24, 2017 at 12:14

Posted in Tasting notes

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MWG September 11th tasting: Primitivo sofisticato

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IGT Puglia 2011, Amphora, Cristiano Guttarolo ($41.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Guttarolo is based in Gioia del Colle in Bari province in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot. 100% Primitivo from 0.6-hectare plot of organically farmed vines in the third decade of their existence. After partial destemming, the hand-picked grapes are placed in 500-litre terracotta amphorae for six months’ fermentation – both alcoholic (with indigenous yeasts) and malolactic – and maceration on the skins. The wine is then transferred to stainless steel tanks for an additional eight months’ maturation and then to bottles for a further 12 month’s refining. No added sulphur. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Glou.
Surprisingly, almost shockingly pale – the lightest looking red of the evening. Deep and engaging bouquet: sweet-and-sour plum, dried earth, spice and meat. A faint carbon dioxide tickle accompanies the first sip. The fruit is remarkably pure and light, glowing with acidity, sweet at its core yet somehow also earthy. Round, lightly drying tannins, a mineral vein and a long caressing finish complete the picture. An elegant Primitivo? Yep. Just beautiful. (Buy again? Done!)

(Flight: 8/9)

Written by carswell

October 6, 2014 at 12:45

MWG June 20th tasting (6/8): An organic Negroamaro

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Vino da tavola 2010, Anne, Azienda Agricola Biologica Natalino del Prete ($20.10, oenopole, NLA)
The winery is located in San Donaci in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot, and has been certified organic since 1994. 100% Negroamaro from 70-year-old vines. Manually harvested. Fermented in termperature-controlled tanks with indigenous yeasts. Unfiltered, unfined, unsulphured.
Dark berries and plum (but not, praise be, prune) with overtones of dried earth, rubber, herbs, cedar and tomato. Round and smooth until you chew, then astringent with tooth-coating tannins. Earthy yet fresh, packed with ripe fruit and juicy acidity. Black pepper, minerals and olive emerge on the finish. The alcohol (14% or 15% if I’m remembering correctly) adds warmth, not heat. Rustic and authentic: the kind of appealing, old-fashioned, terroir-driven wine that internationalization is making an endangered species. (Buy again? Yes.)

We’d intended to taste this alongside Natalino del Prete’s even more affordable Salice Salentino ($17.35, oenopole, now also NLA) but that bottle and a Sicilian rosé were AWOL.

Written by carswell

July 1, 2013 at 10:36

New arrivals from Glou (3/5)

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These two wines actually came fourth in the tasting but the notes on the third-flight wines have yet to be written up. Guttarolo is based in Gioia del Colle in Bari province in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot.

IGT Puglia 2009, Lamie delle vigne, Cristiano Guttarolo ($28.10, Glou, 6 bottles/case)
100% Primitivo from 30-year-old vines. Fermented 18 days on the skins. Matured 24 months. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. Native yeasts, no added sulphur, unfiltered, unfined. 14% ABV.
Simple but attractive and unexpectedly fresh nose: ripe fruit, candied cassis, slate. Medium-bodied (for a Primitivo?!), clean and bright with vibrant acidity and tight, airframe tannins. The sourish/puckery fruit has darker notes including a slatey undercurrent. Long. Unlike – and far more appealng than – other Primitivos I’ve encountered. Very much along the lines of the wines from new generation Sicilian producers like Occhipinti, Calabretta and Cornelissen. (Buy again? Definitely.)

IGT Puglia 2010, Amphora, Cristiano Guttarolo ($36.96, Glou, 6 bottles/case)
100% Primitivo from 30-year-old vines. Fermented with native yeasts. Fermentation and maceration on the skins last six months and take place in terracotta amphorae. The wine is then transferred to stainless steel tanks for an addition eight months’ maturation. No added sulphur. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. 13.5% ABV.
More complex and savoury than the Lamie. Slightly jammy fruit, slate and, yes, a hint of terracotta. Medium-bodied. Fresh – again the zingy acidity. The texture is softer and a little weightier, the tannins rounder and more velvety. Possessed of a hard-to-describe directness. Very appealing though the Lamie is the QPR winner. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

May 8, 2013 at 10:05