At the risk of going on about how much I love Italy – I’m especially fond of the country’s shapely heel. At a huge, three-hour Easter feast in a remote part of Puglia, my wife and I were sent over vino spumante by a large party of very well-dressed local farmers & their families, who I naturally thanked in my most formal Italian. I’m not so fond of the litter which spoils the beaches or the waste fly-tipped on the country roads – apparently this is because waste disposal in Italy is controlled by the mafia (Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia). Apparently they also control the massive olive oil and wine trade. Maybe those generous, friendly farmers were connected…
The most famous Pugliese wine is Primitivo (also known as Zinfandel in America, although US wine growers claimed they weren’t related, the Grape Genome Project proved they were). Ca’Marrone from Tesco is an ‘appassimento’ wine – and on the rear-label is described as ‘passito’. Appassimento is an Italian term for sun-drying harvested grapes, traditionally on bamboo racks or straw mats, for a period of time to concentrate the sugars and flavors and results in higher alcohol levels. This process is also used in making Amarone and Sforzato wines. Passito is an Italian term literally translated as ‘sweet’ and is used in Italy to describe wines made from dried grapes, in the appassimento method.
Tasting notes: Intense deep red colour, with faint brown tinge. Initially cherry aromas. Very soft tannins. Perceptible sweet note; dominant taste of cherries. Good value wine, however we didn’t finish the bottle and are in no rush to buy it again…
Region of Origin – Puglia
Wine Colour – Red
Price – £6.50
Where do I get it from? Tesco – available elsewhere.
Current Vintage – 2016
Producer – Casa Vinicola Botter
Grape – ‘rare red blend’; my guess is Negroamaro, Merlot, Primitivo?
Country – Italy
Points – 88
Food Pairing: Was delicious with roast beef.