2018 Amastuola Primitivo, Puglia, Italy
Author: Nik Rasula
About Sustainability: Italy’s largest organic vineyard. Certified organic by Bioagricert ®.
About the Region: Forming Italy’s heel, Puglia (Poo-lee-ah) is a relatively flat region that separates the Adriatic from the Gulf of Taranto. It was inspiration to the late Patricia Gray, whose culinary thoughts, Honey From a Weed, remains an in-season/local ingredient/foraging, cult-classic. Producing 40 per cent of Italy’s olive oil supply, Puglia is also the centre of Italian baseball, and home to the Taranto Tritons baseball dynasty. The ancestral home of the Tarantino family, son Quentin has made his mark in American film.
About Terroir: Hot, dry summers and mild, slightly damp winters qualify the region’s climate as warm Mediterranean. Located at 210 metres in the rolling slopes of the karst Murge Plateau. Amastuola’s vines root into its mineral-rich, red clay-silt soils. The cooler temperatures at altitude assist with proper grape development, limiting alcohol levels and enabling desired acidity.
About the Winery: Fifteen kms. north of Taranto, Amastuola sits just outside the Terra della Gravine Nature Reserve. Its vineyard, designed by architect Fernando Caruncho, is a stunning landscape of geometric vineyard waves rolling over the distance. Comprising 170 hectares, 14 local and international varietals grow amid 24 stands of 800-year-old olive trees. The winery building, an archeological marvel, is a restored 15C Italo-Greek Abbey.
About the Grape: DNA analysis has determined Primitivo to be the ancient Croatian grape, Crljenak Kašteljanski (just like it’s spelled…”Tse-rel-Nak Kash-tel-yan-ski”). The signature red of Puglia, it has thrived in southern Italy since the 1700s, migrating to North America a century on, as California’s signature grape Zinfandel.
About the Wine: Not one’s typical dark/jammy Primitivo, Amastuola pours a pale ruby red. Aromatic red fruit aromas blend with cinnamon and the slightest hint of kerosene. The crisp, medium-bodied palate reminds of red apple, blood orange and allspice. The finish is long and slightly grippy. Drinks well now, but will improve with cellaring.
About Pairing: Bombette Pugliese, spit-roasted piglet, eggplant parmigiana, fennel sausage and potatoes.
About Alcohol Level: 14% abv
About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability. CSPC #790741