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Southern Italy

Known as Oenotria to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, this 'Land of Vines' made little progress between then and the latter stages of the 20th century. Neither the will nor the investment were there to achieve anything other than mediocre wines, but this began to change in the 1980s and Southern Italy's wealth of indigenous grapes began to come to the fore.

Known as Oenotria to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, this 'Land of Vines' made little progress between then and the latter stages of the 20th century. Neither the will nor the investment were there to achieve anything other than mediocre wines, but this began to change in the 1980s and Southern Italy's wealth of indigenous grapes began to come to the fore.

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Primitivo might have gone largely unnoticed had it not been for the recent supposition that it was in effect the same grape as the Zinfandel of California; however, this now appears not to be the case. Nevertheless, it is beginning to shine in Italy as well. This is a region where quality is in the ascendant and greatness is waiting.

Styles of Wine

Southern Italy is a very large region with a remarkable number of grape varieties, and as such the styles of wine are legion. 'Mediocre' used to be a useful word for the description of them all but recent years have seen pockets, and now districts, of genuine quality emerge.

Key Vines

Primitivo is destined to be an important future grape for the region, especially Puglia.  Other significant red vines are Aglianico, Gaglioppo, Negroamaro, Malvasia Nero and, in Lazio to the north of the region, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.The whites are regarded as being of less interest, though Trebbiano is used to produce the remarkably named, unremarkable tasting Est!Est!!Est!!! DOC wines and is blended with Malvasia for Frascati.  Sweet wines are made from Moscato in Basilicata and dry whites from Bombino Bianco in Apulia.

Climate and Conditions

Grapes are grown from coast to mountain in this large region of Italy, as they are elsewhere in the country, and generalisations about climate and conditions are impossible to make. A closer look at the districts will yield the specific information about each.

 

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  1. Carlomagno Fiano

    Carlomagno Fiano, 2016 75cl

    Full and fruity on the nose with intense tropical notes of banana and mango on the palate. The finish shows great balance and a slight nutty character.

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    £8.10
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    £9.00
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    £6.75
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £7.50
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  2. Pecorino Caparrone, Collline Pescaresi

    Pecorino Caparrone, Collline Pescaresi, 2014 75cl

    One of Italy's most interesting and fashionable varieties. Floral stone fruit and citrus aromas lead on to a palate with fresh peach notes backed by a textural minerality, nutty character and crisp freshness.

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    £9.42
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    £11.00
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    £7.85
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    £9.17
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  3. Amanti del Vino Primitivo

    Amanti del Vino Primitivo, Puglia Botter, 2015 75cl

    Full and ripe bouquet of peppers. Rich and concentrated with a soft yet firm black fruit finish.

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    £6.90
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    £7.85
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    £5.75
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    £6.54
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  4. Carlomagno Appasimento Primitivo

    Carlomagno Appasimento Primitivo, 2015 75cl

    This wine is made by crushing partially dried grapes which has the effect of making the juice super concentrated. The result is a wine with intense aromas of bark winter berries, plum, and cocoa. Great with a rich red meat dish.

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    £8.46
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    £10.00
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    £7.05
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    £8.33
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  5. Rosso di Montepulciano, Duca di Saragnano

    Rosso di Montepulciano, Duca di Saragnano, 2015 75cl

    Light in character with low tannin and plenty of cherry fruit flavour. A very approachable wine that is delicious on a warm day, a real thirst-quenching red.

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    £9.24
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    £10.50
    each
    £7.70
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £8.75
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