(2020) Pouring a medium-pale, quite burnished, orangey-pink, this has dry seeds and herbs on the nose, a little spice, and then a bright melon and pomegratate fruitiness. Dry and savoury on the palate, there is a nicely sour and tart edge of underripe plum and raspberry, giving this a very gastronomic, digestible feel. A sweetness to the fruit and creaminess makes it very approachable, within an overall framework of savouriness.
(2020) This is a classic Primitivo from Salento in Puglia, and a particularly bold and juicy example emphasising the exuberant dark fruit profile of the wine. Spices, damson plum and blackcurrant on the nose suggests a certain plushness, and that's borne out on the palate, where a creamy weight of black fruit and supple texture fill the mouth, great sweetness to the fruit, but a very nicely sour and savoury edge of bittersweetness: plum skins and tangy orange acids, the chocolaty tannins and six months in oak barrels adding even more smoothness to the finish. Great value here.
(2020) From the deep-south of Italy, an 11.5% alcohol rosato that has a moderately deep colour and lightly herbal and slightly cherry-ish aromas. You will not miss the dollop of residual sugar in the mouth, more medium-sweet than off-dry for sure, with plenty of soft, creamy strawberry but just about enough juicy lemon acidity to balance.
(2019) Most certainly one for those who like a dollop of sweetness in their Rosé - not just ripeness, but residual sugar that puts this firmly in the 'off-dry' category. A medium pink in colour, it is all about strawberry sundae fruit on nose and palate, ripe and sweet, though the acid balance really is not at all bad, and does stop this from being cloying. Sip in the garden with its 11.5% abv, or maybe match to some strawberries touched with balsamic vinegar in a not too sweet dessert? Part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour' May 2019.
(2019) What a beatiful example of Negroamaro this is, hand-harvested with a yield of 50 hl/ha and aged 15 months in barrel. It has a dense, crushed black cherry and kirsch nose, very aromatic and refined, with little edges of Sandalwood and cedar. In the mouth loads of bittersweet character, a chicory bite of acidity and plum skins against the depth of fleshy, juicy fruit. This has real tang and edge, liquorice and spices keeping it dark and savoury into the finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) The Verdeca variety is grown both here in Puglia and in central Italy around Emilia-Romagna. Unoaked, this offers notes of fresh-sliced pear and a hint of summer meadows, the palate also showing a pear and pear juice fruitiness, but as is often the case with Verdeca, there's a herbal, green twang to this too, and a bittersweet twist of chicory to the acidity, giving it a dry, savoury and food-friendly character despite the overtly fruity opening.
(2019) This blend of Negroamaro and Syrah comes from vineyards near Lecce with a higher proportion of clay, and it spends six months in older French oak barrels. Dense, dark and savoury, it is not quite so aromatic as the plush 'Versus' Negroamaro, but there's a vinous, vine-fruit ripeness. In the mouth the creamy, dark and sweet fruit swells, a firm rasp of tannin and acidity backs up, the oak not noticeable, but just rounding out the tart cherry freshness of the finish.
(2019) Like the Negroamaro 'Versus', a low yield of 50hl/ha for this Primitivo that spent nine months barriques. Plummy, deep and polished, the nose has some graphite and cedary tones, but an Agen prune and curranty darkness too. The super-sweet ripeness of the fruit powers through on the palate, jammy and ripe, you could spread it on toast, thick with fruit and unfurling tannins, but there is a dry, juicy cherry acidity that bites in the finish, freshening the picture of a very smart Primitivo: big but not blowsy.
(2019) This blend of 35% Primitivo, 35% Montepulciano and 30% Malvasia spends 12 months in French Allier oak barrels, another 12 in steel and finally five months in bottle before release. The aromas are very classic: subtle cedar and pencil-shavings over tobacco and cherry, a rounding senses of fleshy black plum beneath. That Primitivo hit of intense, dramatic, concentrated fruit sweetness assaults the palate; serious fruit drive here, edged with tart liquorice and plum and cherry skins, the 15% alcohol adding to the power of this wine that really - really - needs a chunk of mature cheddar, an aged Parmesan or maybe even a spicy curry to contend with the powerhouse style.
(2016) For a long time in Puglia the wines made from the Fiano Minutolo variety were labelled as 'Fiano', and yet were intensely aromatic and very different from the Fiano of Avellino. In fact it now appears the two varieties are unrelated, and this is a good example of what's now generally known simply as 'Minutolo'. Almost Gewurtz- or Torrontés-like, it is headily aromatic. Complex, juicy and dry with fantastic grip and tang, long and packed with flavour and personality.