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Wines of Puglia, Italy

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Puglia.


Primitivo di Manduria 2007
Aged in French oak barrique. Beautifuly cedary, elegant nose, with subtle tobacco and leafy spices, and a tang of a herb-edged, sweet cherry fruit. The palate has an intense sweetness, with notes of balsamic and chocolate and a suede-like, smooth and rich tannin structure. The spices and masses of deep, toasty oak adds lots of richness. A very full and velvety wine but the heat and spice of the structure stand up to the inherent sweetness of fruit and 9 g/l of residual sugar. 91/100. 15-17 euros.

Primitivo di Manduria Dolce 2006
Passito method wine. Sold in little 50cl cute bottles. Fabulous nose, with deep balsamic richness and all sorts of complex Agen prune and peppery notes, with a touch of incense and even tarry notes. Fabulous sweet fruitness with a rich, deep, glossy blackcurrant fruit. Beautiful coffee and cherry infusion nose, with a swirling, dark pool of fruit, sweet tannin and spicy richness. 93/100. 19-21 euros.

Primitivo di Manduria Dolce 2007
Lots of pepper and cinnamon, with a touch of herbs and a less deep than the 2006, less seductive character at this stage. The palate is more linear and lean - less sweet - but the grip of the tannins and a the fine, persistence of the acidity adds more structure. Less hedonistic perhaps, but has fine balance and beautiful length. 92/100.

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