Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Enoteca Vini di Puglia, Ostuni.

In an anonymous-looking building in the town of Ostuni lies a treasure-trove of wines from Puglia.

Open Sesame

Inside, a bright and airy room stacked exclusively with wine from Puglia as well as a few other Pugliesi items such as olive oil.

Slivestro himself. What a lovely man!

Presiding over this treasure-trove is a lovely man called Silvestro. Silvestro is one of those people who knows every item in stock and where to lay hands on them. You meet such people only rarely. Sr. Trimani is another such at Enoteca Trimani, Roma.

the large stock pays tribute to the diversity of Puglia

Our first 'ask' for Sivestro was a Bianco D'Alessano in purezza. It seemed nothing could be easier. We had met I Pastini's 'Cupo' at Vinitaly 2104. This 2017 vintage was even better and proved a hit back at the Trullo.

Next, we asked Silvestro if perhaps he had any Marchione - an obscure variety we had read about in D'Agata ('Native Wine Grapes of Italy'). He includes Marchione in a list of 'Other forgotten native grapes currently being reevaluated by university researchers and private individuals...' and later on adds that Marchione 'is a high quality grape characterized by good total acidity levels and the capacity to give highly-perfumed almost aromatic wines... Its Achilles heel is that it is exquisitely sensitive to most common vine diseases, explaining why it gradually disappeared from vineyards.'

D'Agata knew only one wine made with Marcione at the time of writing; one made by Santoro.

Our Silvestro laid his hand on this spumante by Polvanera made from 100% Marchione.

We have been fans of Polvanera ever since dicovering their Minutolo at Astor Wines of New York in 2013 or thereabouts and here it was again. Wags speculate that the recent craze for Minutolo or Fiano Minutolo to give it its correct name has resulted in more Minutolo sold than grown. We're sure that Polvanera's product has absolute integrity. Still tastes good too.

Ottavianello according to D'Agata is 'a traditional variety of Puglia better known elsewhere as Cinsault.' The back label of this bottle by Vallone has it that Ottavianello is a 'vitigno autoctono pugliese...' In 'Wine Grapes,' there is a tantalising suggestion that an ueber-obscure variety Notardomenico may lurk in the Ottavianello vineyards between Cisterino, Ostuni and San Vito dei Normanni north-west of Brindisi. Our Ottavianello comes from the Riserva Naturale di Torre Guaceto near that triangle if not actually inside it. D'Agata mentions Notardomenico in connection with Rosato and table grapes. It looks like we may never experience what a red Notardomenico tastes like although stranger things have happened in the world of 'vitigni autoctoni,'

We are suckers for Aleatico and have searched for a dry version that wasn't homogenised into tasting like every other over-extracted fruit bomb. This one wasn't quite the answer to our prayers.

Enoteca Vini di Puglia is that rare thing, an outstanding promotional outlet. The Slotovino Awards for 2017/18 will be out at the end of the year. Who knows, Silvestro might be walking that red carpet.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

what marvellous description of this Puglian treasure trove -
well done, Roberto, and cheers to your knowledge of rare, if not sometimes weird, -wines - it is formidable!