Sampietrana. Negro Amaro 'Parnanio'
Soft and rich with floral strawberry and plum flavours. Fruit laden and ripe tannins, this is an open-hearted, rioja-like, round and refreshing wine. And organic too. 14.5%
In our early days, we had no wine from Puglia, my mentor: Mrs Pask-Hughes was from the Friuli in the north, she ventured as far south as Camillo Montori (northern limits of the Abruzzo). In truth, there was comparatively little wine being bottled in Puglia in the 90’s, however, things have moved on and the taste for round, rich, fruit-laden wines is stronger than ever. The Parnanio walks this difficult path with ease: soft and rich with floral strawberry and red plum flavours; ripe tannins, an open-hearted and refreshing wine. Whilst perfect now, it will also fill out over the next few years.
Our search for a producer making classic Negro Amaro wines finally led us to Sampietrana. They are a very small cooperative in the centre of San Pietro with vineyards in the DOCs of Salice Salentino, Brindisi and Squinzano. There is a family feel to the operation and a real ambition to meet the challenges of a changing market. Every year more vineyard is converted to organic and fresher styles of wine have been introduced to sit alongside their steadfastly traditional ‘Riserva’ wines (which I continue to love). The cellar remains unchanged from the 40’s, concrete tanks and oak; much of the building is listed (including the fascist text extoling the value of hard work, a message that must have amused the Pugliese at the time). These are great wines at very fair prices, we hope to return to Sampietrana for many years.