il brutto, Negroamaro Primitivo, IGP Salento Rosso, Puglia, Italy, 2014
The Salentino region is at the southernmost end of Puglia (the modern name, also seen as the Latin Apuglia), south of Brindisi. The topography is low flat-topped hills, or just plain flat; soils are water retentive clay-limestone; and the climate Mediterranean, with long hot summers and cooling sea breezes. The IGP is very flexible, allowing any proportions of approved red varieties, including eg aglianico, barbera, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, lambrusco, malbec, malvasia, merlot, negroamaro, piedirosso, pinot nero, primitivo … The regulations call for minimum alcohol levels, there appears to be no minimum ageing period, nor other significant rules.
This wine: A blend of negroamaro and primitivo, natural cork closure, 13% abv, widely available, ~£10 (gift 2016)
Consumer tasting note: A well-balanced richly flavoured wine with smooth low-key tannins and supporting acidity. Medium (ish) alcohol and body, with lots of mouth-filling black fruit and liquorice, with toasty spicy notes from time in oak. A long length with a black fruit and liquorice infused finish.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of creamy ripe black cherry and black berry, over-ripe black plum, spice, gorse flower (delicate coconut-like), smoke, a bit toasty, then a low-key but rich florality, before settling into liquorice, warm dried berries, a whiff of tar and sweet tobacco.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, medium (-) smooth ripe tannins, medium (+) alcohol, and a medium (+) body, with a smooth creamy texture and seeming ripe fruit sweetness in mid-palate, medium (+) intensity flavours, of black cherry, ripe black plum, some ripe red fruit, black olive, liquorice and spice. A long length with a black fruit-liquorice finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, nicely balanced acidity plus modest tannins with alcohol and intensity of flavour; showing some development, and some complexity, but not overly so, decent concentration and a good length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, has ageing potential, over say 2-3 years – well-balanced, but a little lacking in intensity and complexity, to suggest longer.
- Italian Wine Central [online]. Accessed 14/03/16.
- Belfrage, N. 2003. Brunello to Zibibbo. Published by Mitchell Beazley.