Puglia is a region of Italy that I have visited a number of times. I have always enjoyed these trips, and I developed a special fondness for the wines of the area that I was able to sample when I was the Wine Director of I Trulli Restaurant in NYC.
Enrico Battista, CEO of Solair Imports, invited me to a lunch featuring one of his producers from Puglia at The Leopard at des Artistes and I was eager to attend.
The speaker was Andrea Fattizzo, the General Manager of the Trullo di Pezza winery.
Andrea said the winery is located in Torricella just a few kilometers from Manduria in the middle of the Primitivo zone in Puglia. There are 30 hectares under vines. The vineyards benefit from the “Terra Rossa,” a distinctive red color and soil rich in mineral deposits.
Sisters Simona and Marika Lacaita inherited the vineyards from their parents who were selling grapes, and in 2013 built their own winery. Trullo di Pezza was born. The winery is very close to the sea and the wines are certified organic.
With the appetizers, Enrico poured a sparkling wine from another producer he represents, Spumante Franciacorta Brut NV from Antica Fratta made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from 30 year old vines. The vineyards are at 120 meters and the soil is calcareous clay. Fermentation is in stainless steel and the wine remains on the lees for 24 months. Aging is in the bottle. This is a medium bodied sparkling wine with hints of apple, pear and lemon.
Pomdorini Gratinati Alla Pugliese
Croccante Di Funghi Trifolati
Arancini Di Riso Cacio E Pepe
The food was prepared by the chef of the Leopard Vito Gnazzo and it was a perfect match with the wines
Primitivo Salento “Mezzapezza” 2016 made from 100% Primitivo from vines 20 to 30 years old at 5 meters. The soil is sandy clay, south exposure and the training system is Espalier. Harvest is manual. Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel vats with maceration for 8 to 10 days. The wine is aged in stainless steel for 5 months and 1 month in bottle before release. This is a fresh intense fruity wine with hints of cherry, plum, and a touch of spice.
Cozze Alla Tarantina – Plump mussels cooked in a light tomato broth.
Rosso Salento “Nimella” IGP 2015 made from 100% Negroamaro. The soil is sand and silt and the vineyard is at 5 meters. The vines are 10 to 15 years old, south exposure and the training system is guyot. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature with 7 days maceration on the skins. With the 2014 vintage the wine is aged is stainless steel for two months and in the bottle for 6 months before release. This is a full-bodied and balanced wine with ripe red fruit aromas and flavors, hints of black cherry and a touch of spice.
Chiancaredde Al Pomodoro E Basilico–Fresh pasta with tomato and basil
Primitivo Di Manduria “Licurti” 2014 DOP made from 100% Primitivo. The soil Is sandy clay and the vineyard is at 5 meters. The exposure is south and the training system is guyot. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks with 10 days maceration on the skins. The wine is aged in French oak tonneaux for 6 months and one month in bottle before release. This is a well-balanced, full bodied wine with aromas and flavors of dark fruit, a hint of prune and a touch of spice.
Bombette Al Prosciutto Crudo E Riobiola Con Cime Di Rape Al Peperoncino
Cartellate Al Miele — Fried pastry spirals soaked in honey. Andrea said this was a very typical dessert from Puglia.
It was a wonderful lunch and I really enjoyed the wines and the food.