On Monday 17th March the WING group met to taste red wines from Puglia, in the heel of Italy, courtesy of Cissy and Carl. Here are my notes:

Salice Salentino Riserva 2010 (Castris) – 13.5% (Mondial Wine £13.70)
A quiet nose at first, then a perfumed note and a hint of plummy fruit. The palate has prunes then a grainy, bitter chocolate element with a sour cherry acidity shooting right through the palate. Later the sweet notes come (too much?) to the fore. A typical, but very good Salice!

Graticciaia 2009 (Vallone) – 14.5% (Wine Soc £32)
This is made from Negroamaro grapes dried on racks. At first quite a mature claret-ish – cedar and mushroom – nose with a spirit note. Powerful palate, with a damson fruit acid supple tannins and a long bitter-sweet finish. Lovely and impressive, but pricey.

“Il Falcone” Castel del Monte 2007 (Rivera) – 13.5% (Mondial Wine £12.80)
The nose was quite recessed at first, hints of perfume then sweet black cherry fruit and even cloves. Dry palate with black fruit and coffee tinged tannin. Long palate but quite chewy – maybe still young.

Agramante” Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera 2010 (Paolo Petrilli) – 13.5% (Batwine £15.50)
Indicative Blend: Nero di Troia (60%), Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Bombino. Floral elements and orchard fruits. Close your eyes and the nose could be a white wine – an experience I occasionally found in Cornas. Palate is complex: cherry fruit and baking spice, supple tannins – a charming wine with non-fruit hints. A lovely wine and fabulous value – my favourite wine of the night!

“Il Guerro” Nero di Troia 2008 (Paolo Petrilli) – 14% (Batwine £20)
Quite a woody nose, with cherry fruit later. A big palate with plums and even tinned tomatoes with hefty, though soft, tannins. A wine that gestures towards the familiar Chateauneuf type balance, though a style of its own.

Puer Apuliae Nero di Troia 2007 (Rivera) – 14% (Mondial Wine £21.60)
A pickled onion pungency at first then compost notes, maybe leather but all non-fruit, Very extracted palate, sharp dark fruit tending towards blackcurrant but a rather heavy medicinal astringency detracting (and maybe even faulty) for me.

Aleatico Passito 2005 (Castel di Salve) – 11.5% (Batwine £17.50 for half)
Aleatico is a dark skinned grape related to Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, most probably an offspring (although it could be a parent). This wine is made from dried grapes crushed to make the must. I got mint and apply jelly notes on the nose. Caramalised palate with hints of blackberry and apple crumble and raisins – scrumptious!

So nice to taste a relatively new grape – Nero di Troia, and especially loved the Paolo Petrilli examples. A fascinating tasting and a couple of real discoveries. Thanks so much to Cissy and Carl.

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