July 31, 2015
 

SANTA LUCIA, Castel del Monte

 

2011 Vigna del Melograno
Retail: $22.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs)

100% Nero di Troia: Puglia's native grape 

 

A tiny jewel of an estate in Italy's vast South

Puglia has a reputation for being a producer of predominantly bulk wine. Italy’s hot, deep South still is mostly comprised of co-operatives, but this is where Santa Lucia stands out — it’s a tiny jewel of a winery with only 14 hectares of estate vineyards.

The Perrone Capano family has owned Santa Lucia since 1628, with vineyard records dating to 1849.  The winery is located 40 km north of Bari and 15 km from the coast, with vineyards perched at 300m above sea level. This elevation mitigates the hot weather, allowing Santa Lucia to create wines with more moderate alcohol and with balance. 

Farming & production methods are organic, with some biodynamic practices in the vineyard as well.  Yields are restricted to 6-9 tonnes/ha, compared to the 14-15 tonnes/ha permitted by the appellation. These low yields give the wines their concentration and character. Vineyards are meticulously tended, with trellising tailored to each varietal. Nero di Troia is the most interesting indigenous variety in this DOC — it is an age-worthy wine, with no reference point in other Italian regions. Santa Lucia’s version is the benchmark, absolutely worth investing in. 

 

2011 Vigna del Melograno

Retail: $22.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs)

A rich, intense wine with berry fruit, warm spices and ripe tannins. 

The 2011 shows some of the heat of the vintage in a more elaborate and opulent style. Uva di Troia is the indigenous grape used to make this Southern Italian red and the bouquet is redolent of dark cherry, tar, licorice and toasted almond… Charred earth tones and black fruit make for a flavourful finish… — Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate