Last week, I was delighted to offer a classic Aglianico from Mastroberardino, the estate's 2009 Taurasi Radici. I'm following up that offer with a beautiful Primitivo from Mille Una, a small estate in Puglia. Many wine-lovers overlook Italy's South and concentrate on areas in northern and central Italy. This is shortsighted, because you'll miss a lot of really delicious wines.
In the last few decades, the lower corner of the Boot has been bolstered by investment, and southern winemakers are beginning to restore old varietals and make quality wines. The rediscovery of thousands of archaeological breeds that date back to antiquity--many of them rescued from near extinction--has helped the region shed its reputation as the producer of mediocre bulk wines. Now, the most adventurous enthusiasts are combing Campania, Basilicata, Sicilia, Sardegna, and Puglia, knowing that they'll find more than just the well-known big reds. Only the South, the Italian territory most under vine, offers such a wide range of gorgeous, exotic drinks. Only the South--once maligned and near ruin--has such deep winemaking potential.
Enter the wine and Puglian estate I've chosen to spotlight today. Mille Una is dedicated to growing Primitvo, the thick-skinned grape of Puglia--and most likely a clone for Zinfandel. The Majara Primitivo offered today is beautiful, brooding and delicious. It's a wine you'll reach for with every bite of spaghetti puttanesca, roasted duck, chili or lasagna you take, and every sip will remind you that Italy's south is a great place to find unique, captivating wines that don't break the bank.
But if collector greats are more your style, look at the vintage Alzero from Quintarelli, offered below. It's ready to drink right now, and it is dizzying. Or go for the 2012 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle; this monster won't be ready to drink for a little while, but when it is, it's going to be beautiful.