Gioia, a small picturesque town centered on a 13h century castle, is the heart
of Puglia. This strategic coastal region nestled between the Ionian and Adriatic
seas, inherits its fame, in part, from the fortuitous exploits of a legendary Queen
who stumbled onto a cache of buried, precious stones. Having them made into
a necklace, she gave Gioia del Colle its translated moniker: “Jewels of the neck”.
Rife with colourful folklore, this is also the reputed birthplace of Primitivo wine,
where local history records another popular tale of a 17th century Benedictine
monk Francesco Primicerius, who having discovered the first wild vines thriving
in the gardens of his monastery, he further cultivates and begins transplanting
them into the surrounding fields. With the experience and learning from many
successful harvests, its classification and name are derived from several Latin
terms, loosely translating in meaning as ‘the first to ripen’ – and so it does.
Looking to the present day, this grape has a relative that flourishes in California,
grown as a genetic twin called Zinfandel. Moreover, after long-term speculation
by viticulturalists, both varieties are determined to be descendants of an older
Croatian parent grapevine: Crljenak Kastelanskj (aka Plavina). The Italian clonal
version featured here though, is somewhat lighter, a bit drier and significantly
more price-competitive than most American ‘Zins’ – most of whom carry an
unwarranted price tag for what is a relatively straightforward-to-grow grape
and uncomplicated wine style!
Punctuated by the Salento Peninsula, referred to as the ‘heel’ of south-eastern
Italy, the astonishing level of winemaking output is building on ancient traditions
that were first begun by enterprising Phoenicians, then followed by the Spartans
who settled here in 706BC after emigrating from Greece. As seems to be the
case with so many resurgent regions in Italy, the focus on well made, bulk wine
production, aimed toward local consumption – is shifting qualitatively upward, to
better-satisfy the standards and competition of an international market.
Cantine Coppi is one of many progressive, regional vintners making the leap and
consistently delivering higher quality table wines as with this week’s DéClassé
recommended bottling of their Peucetico. Having earned a dependable place in
the Springtime, Vintages release schedule, you had better grab several, as it will
be leaving the LCBO shelves by the caseload.
COPPI PEUCETICO PRIMITIVO 2008
VINTAGES – Product #724674 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 13.95
Sugar Content: D
Made in: Puglia, Italy
By: Cantine Coppi
Release Date: May 16, 2015
A very fruity palate typical of the grape style with aromas of mixed berries,
plums, spice and vanilla. Try with some classic comfort foods such as pasta
Bolognese, veal scaloppini with sun-dried tomato or a Neapolitan pizza.
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