A Red and White Wine Double
from Italy's Heel.
Antica Enotria Bianco Puglia (IGT) 2018, 12.5%
This light-straw coloured blend of Falanghina and Fiano comes from the organic vineyards of Raffaele di Tuccio in Puglia in the south east of Italy (the “heel of the boot”). Aromas, floral and pear, are rather delicate. The fruit though is somewhat more assertive on the palate, a crisp and refreshing acidity also features as does a streak of minerality before a reasonably persistent finish. Quite a light and elegant blend, very acceptable as an aperitif and with garden salads and good with fish too. Highly Recommended. Chill it just a little but don’t overdo it.
So what kind of grapes are Falanghina and Fiano, you might well ask. They may not be well-known outside of Italy (mainly in Campania). But, believe it or not, Grapes and Wines say Falanghina “is now one of Italy’s new star white grapes” while Fiano is an “interesting, high-quality and very fashionable southern Italian grape responsible fro Campania’s aromatic Fiano di Avellino…”. Indeed, that particular Fiano is a DOCG wine, the top Italian designation. Sounds like a pair of grapes we need to keep in mind!
By the way, the Roman name for Campania (on the opposite side of Italy to Puglia) was Campania Felix, felix meaning happy. One of the reasons was that much of their favourite Falernian wine was produced here!
Le Caveau tell us that Raffaele di Tuccio bought this run-down farmhouse, dating back to the 1700’s, in 1985 and over the past 30 years has worked tirelessly with his wife, Antonia, and son, Luigi, to bring the property back to life. The vineyards are influenced by the cooling Tramontana wind from the north, and the warming Scirocco wind from the south, giving ideal conditions for their dedication to organic viticulture and lending crispness and depth to the wines.
Natalino del Prete “Il Pioniere” Salentino (IGP) 2017, 15%
Negroamaro can be slightly “farmyardy” in flavour, according to Grapes and Wines. But they go on to say that it can be easier to appreciate if blended with a little of the far more scented, succulent Malvasia Nera (15%), as is the case here.
Colour is a solid dark red. The nose opens on clear and deep notes of overripe red and darker fruit. And that fruit is also found in the flavours on the palate, a warm welcoming wine with a persistent finish. A genuine wine of substance, pleasant with excellent drinkability. VHR
Le Caveau tells us Natalino Del Prete, organic since 1994, is a traditional grower of Southern Puglia. They also say: The Pioniere is fantastic: 70-80+ old vines of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera,… a total bargain for the quality and the story behind. Super structured but super light to drink, full of sweet spices and charm.
The wine from the warm lands of Salentino is, as you might expect, particularly suitable to accompany typical dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine. Serve at 16/18 ° C with Aged cheeses, White meat main courses, Red meat main courses. The impurities located in the bottom of the bottle, and I did find a few “grains”, merely serve to confirm the genuineness of the product.