Vallone 2018 Appassimento Special Selection
- Buy 6 for £11.39 each and save 5%
- Buy 12 for £11.03 each and save 8%
Puglia is the heel of the boot, known for its vast but not hugely diverse viticulture. Much of its wine, more than half, is produced in bulk, for blending with wines from other parts of Italy, or basic table wine. There are a number of DOCs, and a handful of DOCGs but the problem is that it is largely dependent on two major grape varieties: Primitivo and Negroamaro. However, the popularity of the former seems to go from strength to strength. Primitivo, despite lacking the refinement needed for top quality wines, has the components of rich fruit, lowish acidity and soft tannins which has great appeal and instant likability. It is also a very generous variety, so it be produced quite cheaply, therefore, offers pretty good value for money.
We have recently added the wines of Alberto Longo to our range. Alberto’s wines have breathed new life into our Puglian section with wines made from varieties particular to the northern city of Lucera, which is close to the borders of Campania and Molise. Here you can find Falanghina, Nero di Troia, Aglianico and Montepulciano among others.
Appassimento is a process of making wines, the most famous result of these is Amarone della Valpolicella originating in the hills of Verona in Italy's region of Veneto. The word comes from the Italian verb 'appassire' - to wither.
During this process the grapes are dried after harvest in the winery until they reach a point of desired concentration. The grapes can lose around 30% of their original weight, concentrating the sugars, flavour compounds, and acidity. Wines made by this process have augmented alcohol and/or sweetness due to the loss of water.
For Amarone and its sweet counterpart Recioto, the time of pressing of the grapes is dictated by the Valpolicella consortium so that a minimum desired level of concentration is achieved. The process sometimes attracts the benevolent fungus noble rot (botrytis cinerea), which adds an extra dimension to the aromatics and further concentrates the grapes. In other parts of Italy, and elsewhere in the world, the regulations are not so rigid.
The process is often confused with Ripasso, which although is another winemaking method, it is dependent on having dried grapes for the refermentation to occur. However, certain wines can be made by both processes as the Valpolicella Classico Superiore and Rosso Ca del Merlo from Giuseppe Quintarelli