Rethinking Primitivo

Oh, Primitivo, I’m sorry! I should never have doubted you and your potential. Continuing on the theme of “breaking stereotypes”, allow me to share what I discovered in Apulia recently: there is Primitivo being made there that can easily compete with the great Zinfandel wines of California. Wines with freshness (!) and elegance (!!), fruit […]

Apulia Sparkles

It is a long-standing stereotype that “the south” cannot make sparkling wines of any real interest because the climate is too hot and sunny, meaning the grapes that thrive there lack the necessary acidity for great sparkling wine the grapes that are generally acknowledged as making the best sparkling wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, even Riesling) […]

Montecucco Sangiovese Comes of Age

Montecucco Historical Tasting In 1998, a small appellation for Sangiovese-based wines was carved from the Maremma. Forged on the slopes of Mount Amiata, the extinct volcano that is also the hallmark and birthright of Montalcino, Montecucco DOC celebrates 20 years of appellation status this year. The elevation of Montecucco Sangiovese to DOCG, now the calling card of Montecucco, was granted […]

The colour of Ciliegiolo

Ciliegiolo: Jewel of the Maremma

Ciliegiolo, Jewel of the Maremma For all my talk – and writing – about little-known or forgotten native grapes, there is another category that is no less worthy of closer examination. Not forgotten, perhaps, but overlooked. An ensemble player – often in the scene playing a supporting role, but seldom in the spotlight: the blending […]