(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.
(2015) Negroamaro may not be so familiar as Primitivo from Puglia in the 'heel' of Italy, but it is one of the main grapes of the region and certainly capable of greatness. This IGT Salento example has real perfume, a heady mix of bloodiness and flowers, a touch of clove and wild berry fruit in a complex layering. In the mouth it is soft and caressing, a great wash of black berries and cream across the palate, before the juiciness and firmness of the structure just tightens things up, giving the finish a long, spicy, but keenly juicy freshness. Really terrific.
(2014) >From Puglia in the heel of Italy, where the Fiano variety made famous in the nearby province of Avellino, is gaining importance. With only 12.5% alcohol and unoaked this is a beautifully aromatic rendition, with perfumed, lightly floral character reminiscent of rose hips and summer blossom, and clean, fresh yellow plum and apple fruit. In the mouth it is textural and has a pleasing, peachy softness, but there's a bit of steel at the core with dry apple and citrus acidity and a hint of salty minerals. A very nice example this.
(2014) Puglia is the source of this 13.5% abv Negroamaro. It is creamy, tight stuff, with a touch of raisin and a touch of currant dryness. Spices and lift are lovely, with a juiciness and taut freshness to the wine. A little extra fudge-like sweetness and depth on the finish, and very good quality overall - long and sweet to the last.
(2014) Not yet bottled. Maturation for 18 months in 350-litre tonneaux and large, 3,000 litre oak barrels followed by a further twelve months in bottle before release. Delightful cherry freshness and lift here, with a touch of charcoal and inkiness, but really it is about the fresh fruit. The palate has juiciness and life. It is powerful, but there is such a sweet core of fruit and the cleansing acidity, of tart cherry and plum skins powers through this. There is plenty of dry extract, but it has lovely fruit and racy balance and harmony. Charming fruit complexity and really expressive Nero d'Avola, with hints of peach and passionfruit.