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Candido

Posted on July 23, 2010 by Enotriaadmin There have been 0 comments

Third and final installment of a recent press trip to Southern Italy...
Up bright and early in sun-drenched Lecce. Francesca from Candido explained "if you want to see the vineyards, you'll have to get there before 10am as it's too hot later." She wasn't kidding. We stopped in the shade of a solitary tree and met Candido's agronomist, Emanuele di Milito. Emanuele explained how Primitivo and Negroamaro, two of Puglia's chief red grapes, fared very differently according to their location. As ever, one tends to think of an indigenous grape prospering throughout a region but often their are microclimates which suit it particularly. We also looked at some Aleatico vines. This red grape was a new name to me - and is according to the Oxford Companion to Wine a likely parent of Muscat à Petits Grains. We had visited time and time again the theme of grapes crossing seas, countries and continents to surface with new names elsewhere on this trip; here was another example. As we later discovered in Candido's (mercifully air-conditioned) tasting room, Aleatico makes exuberant, fleshy dessert wines. We tasted right across the Candido range, which encompasses some very interesting wine; for example a Fiano Minutolo. This bears no resemblance to Fiano di Avellino, but in fact much more to Muscat -maybe all indigenous Puglian grapes are related to Muscat? Their rosato Le Pozzelle is well known in the UK - and this 100% Negroamaro wine offered plenty of strawberry fruit. Highlights amongst the reds was Duca di Aragona (Negroamaro and Montepulciano) and their Salice Salentino Riserva (Negroamaro and Malvasia Nero). Further down the table Mr Atkin was indulging in a spot of blending - proudly offering a Primitivo / Negroamaro blend for our opinions. Last wine of all was the aforementioned Aleatico - a red wine which I'm convinced you would think was white if you tasted completely blind. Peaches, nectarines, raisins were all in full effect on the palate. The locals enjoy it with strong cheese! Then it was time to rejoin the trusty Lancia and head back up the autostrada towards Bari. Mercifully the traffic was less hectic than on the way down, and we even had time for a pit stop on a beach - where I filmed Tim Atkin for this clip. The lady journalists took a dip in the warm sea (not pictured). Once back to the airport, we reflected on a trip which had offered much in the way of history and intrigue. Truthfully the only way to truly understand the wines of the south is to visit it yourselves.


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