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Monday
Mar042013

The Nero di Troia from Apulia

 

 

The Nero di Troia grape has escaped a tragic end thanks to its rescue by Puglia’s heroic vignerons. It's an epic tale ... ! If we are to believe the legend, the Nero di Troia grape was brought to the hills of Puglia by Diomedes, the Greek hero who destroyed Troy. An auspicious beginning indeed, but one which was muddled in obscurity, as the variety has traditionally only been used in local blends. In an Italy where grapes and wine were “foodstuffs”, the low-yielding variety just couldn’t hold its own. But now, in a region still dominated by Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes, and to a certain extent the ubiquitous “international” varieties, its organoleptic features are exactly what the modern wine-makers want. Francesco Liantonio of Torrevento in Corato, near Bari, was the first to champion Nero di Troia, “in purezza”  (single-varietal). Many of his neighbours have now followed suite and the results are admirable. The Nero di Troia is generally a medium-bodied, moderately acidic, alcoholic and deeply coloured, tannic wine marked by a salty minerality, and notes of spices, violets and red berries. It is a late-harvesting grape (early October) and this long, slow hang-time translates into fresher, more complex wines capable of ageing. When it has been nurtured to its full expression, it is able to appease the most demanding of Gods. Imagine:  Ripe mulberries, cherries and plums. Smoky balsamic vinegar aged in juniper barrels. A mossy carpet of undergrowth under a canopy of dewy ferns. Chalky sand beaches and salty sea sprays…

 

TWO TO TRY

 

Torrevento Torre del Falco Nero di Troia IGT 2007 

 Stunning (but then so are all of the reds from Torrevento - especially the un-oaked reds). A ruby robe and a fresh nose of blueberries, and chocolate-covered cherries. The palate was well-structured, with lively acidity. Waitrose sells this - go get some.

www.Torrevento.it

 

Alberto Longo Le Cruste Nero di Troia della Puglia IGT 2006

 This brew is rich and intensely structured, with notes of violet, tobacco, a complex palate with mature tannins and a good finish. Available from www.Everywine.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

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