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The Wines of Puglia

Wines of PugliaPuglia’s changed….going outside its co-op comfort zone to become one of the South’s most striking viticultural outposts. While it continues to develop and realize its inherent potential beyond a prodigious turnout, it is currently thriving in the high-quality value genre—maintaining impressive numbers while doing so, given fairly moderate production costs. Italy’s heel is getting ever higher, stepping out to claim (some stomping) ground among the well-heeled further up the Boot.

The generous number of Puglian DOCs ostensibly conflicts with the region’s rather limited output of classified wine. Yet, viewed from another perspective, these designations portend and accommodate future productions. As Puglia’s heightened values are mainly projected through its red wine production, many will likely be represented by red, yet (some whites have begun to assert their colors as well) the whites may begin to assert their colors as well.
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Schiena Vini Tre Compari Primitivo 2017 750ml
Schiena Vini Tre Compari Primitivo 2017 750ml
Price: $17.99

Intense red, blue, and black fruits dance against a backdrop of warm earth, violet petals, baking spices, licorice and Mediterranean scrub in this very appealing, plush wine. Fine-grained tannins and a sweet inner perfume find their complements in bright acidity and savory underpinnings in this highly enjoyable, anytime red. This mono-varietal Primitivo is grown with sustainable practices and harvested by hand; grapes ferment for about ten days in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for five months in steel, followed by one month in bottle. more info
Schiena Vini Salento Enneoro Negroamaro 2017 750ml
Schiena Vini Salento Enneoro Negroamaro 2017 750ml
Price: $18.99

An alluring ruby in the glass, this wine bursts with juicy red and brambly blue fruits, warm pipe tobacco, potpourri, grilled herbs, and touches of pepper and ash. This is a beautiful, velvety big red that grips the palate with chewy tannins as elegant acidity propels the wine’s mineral-inflected finish. This mono-varietal Negroamaro is grown with sustainable practices and harvested by hand; grapes ferment for 8 to 10 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for five months in steel before bottling. more info
Schiena Vini Impero Primitivo di Manduria 2017 750ml
Schiena Vini Impero Primitivo di Manduria 2017 750ml
Price: $21.99

Finessed and elegant, this ’17 Impero Primitivo wafts from the glass with a profusion of cherries, berries, rose petals, Mediterranean scrub, white pepper and licorice. For all its power, this wine feels almost weightless, layering its copious dry extract with silky tannins and vivid acidity, and filling the mouth with a marvelous texture as it slinks to a sustained finish. This mono-varietal Primitivo is grown with sustainable practices and harvested by hand; grapes ferment for about two weeks in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for three months in steel, followed by three months in barrique. more info
Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte 2015 750ml
Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte 2015 750ml
Price: $59.99

Balsamic herbs, flinty soil, warm spices, potpourri and berry jam frame the pure, opulent red and blue fruits in the ’15 Bocca di Lupo. Balanced and beautiful, this wine’s firm tannins cling to the cheeks as elegant minerality and fresh acidity propel the wine’s resonant finish. After allowing the Aglianico grapes to ripen fully, Tormaresca vinifies them in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ferments in barrique for fifteen months and ages in the bottle for two years before release. While Aglianico frequently requires time in the cellar before enjoyment, this bottle from Antinori's Tormaresca allows for earlier approachability, yet it sacrifices nothing for longevity. more info
Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica 1959 500ml
Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica 1959 500ml
Price: $159.00

The product of the hottest summer on record in Puglia, the skills of Piemonte-born Antonio Ferrari, and sheer luck, the ’59 Jonica lands somewhere between a Recioto and a Port, but it’s far more complex and surprising. Notes of plums, berries and cherries dance with chocolate, earth, tobacco, black walnuts, caramel, spice and licorice in this dizzyingly layered wine. Though the Jonica has about six decades of age, it remains remarkably vibrant and nervy, hanging its myriad flavors on a sturdy tannic spine and energizing its thick palate with bright acidity. Rich, luscious, concentrated and warm, this wine needs to be tasted to be believed and sipped slowly to be appreciated. A mono-varietal Primitivo grown on old vines, this wine matured in botti for a decade and refined in concrete for an additional 35 years before being bottled. more info