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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Villa Quinziana, 2008 Squinzano - Laithwaites

This Laithwaites Negroamaro blend comes from the somewhat obscure Squinzano region in Puglia (the southern "heel" of Italy). Southern Italy is generally an area of increasing interest for up-and-coming value wines (rather like inland Spain and Languedoc) and is the spiritual home of the red Negroamaro grape which typically produces rustic wines combining perfume with an earthy bitterness

This wine, made by Cantina Due Palme (although it doesn't seem to appear on the company's website), is pleasant enough, suitable for quaffing, with fruit, a touch of spice and some sweet tobacco on the palate. Quite more-ish, it slips down easily, but lacks the tannic grip on the finish to make it a really good food wine.

Perfect if you are in the mood for something easy-drinking and unchallenging - as we were the other evening at the end of a weekend of serious wines - but the price is quite toppy for something like this, especially as southern Italy is supposed to be a value region.

According to the Laithwaites website, Assunta Maci of the famed Cantine due Palme winery is a great ambassador for Puglian and Italian wine as a whole ... the grapes for this wine come from a prime site of low-yielding, very old bush vines.

Pleasant, but middling, I'd say; it was provided by Laithwaites under their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Food matches are not that easy, but pasta with a tomato-based sauce, some kind of stew or rustic sausages would probably work.

£7.99 from Laithwaites (plus delivery).


Laithwaites - http://www.laithwaites.co.uk/

Cantina Due Palme - http://www.cantineduepalme.it/

More info on Squinzano DOC - http://www.italianmade.com/wines/DOC10281.cfm

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