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Wines of Puglia, Italy

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Puglia.

VALLONE

Corte Valesio 2008
An IGT Salento Bianco, this is a 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Lightly herbaceous, with some slightly waxy, pear skin fruit character. The Chardonnay comes through more on the palate, with a fairly broad, powerful mid-palate with a bit of skinny grip, if rather alcoholic. 86/100.

Vigna Castello 2007
Castello di Serra Nova estate, this is 70% Negraomaro plus Sussunmaniello. There's that little twist of vegetal, herby character, then quite a nice bold red fruitiness of cherry and red plum. The oak is fragrant and incense like. On the palate the oak perhaps a touch overpowering, giving a slightly resinous quality, but it is mouth-filling and rich, with a leathery intensity and plenty of spice into a pretty long finish. 88/100.

Graticciaia 2004
The Negroamaro is grown at the Tenuta Flamino estate near Brindisi from 70-year-old vines, then dried on mats at Castello di Serra Nova before oak ageing. Subtle, deep-set nose hinting at herbs, leather and spices, but a warm earthiness and a touch of chocolate. He palate is extremely smooth and glycerine-rich, with an intensity of raisins and Agen prunes, and plenty of spicy concentration to the tannins. 91/100. 45 - 55 euros.

Graticciaia 1998
The oak seems more dominant on this wine, with a slightly resinous touch and some dried cherry and prune fruit aromas. On the palate more sweetness here: seems to be both a more concentrated fruit sweetness, with a lightly dusty cherry character, and a little more residual sugar. The chocolate and fat, pruney richness of the finish builds and this finishes with real intensity and spicy length. 92/100. 45 - 55 euros.

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