Our final day enabled us to taste the famous Dolce Naturale in the morning, and to enjoy the spectacular Castello Monaco in the evening.
Cantina Soloperto in Manduria was the first estate in Puglia to bottle its own wine and promote its own name. It has 50 hectares of its own grapes and buys some in. Whites are grown in the Itrian Valley.
As we saw in the shop, some wines are still sold in bulk!
Marina from marketing and Valentina from the winery took us round the winery. For such a big estate there was surprisingly little equipment but perhaps you don’t need so much stainless steel if you are making mainly reds.
The barrels were stored in an old cement tank which was enormous, they have over the years reduced the quantity of individual harvests and fermentations as they have segmented their range by variety and style.
In their brand new tasting room We tasted 5 of their wines
Locorontodo 2015 DOP, from the Itrian valley. 100% Verdeca bianco d’Alessandro – fresh lemony grassy nose, good acidity and a fresh mouthfeel.
Gran rose – a blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia. Just 6 hours skin contact produced a beautiful rose pink colour, with strawberry fruit on the nose. On the palate it was quite light with nice structured fruit and mouthfeel.
Interestingly they can’t claim and IGP status for this wine because the rules require rose to be 100% Negroamaro, and a lower yield.
Ceralacca 2014 100% Primitivo do manduria DOP. The six months spent in French oak lent a nots of spicy cloves, cedar wood and dark fruit. A very attractive spicy structured palate.
Primitivo di ManduriaDOP – 17% alcohol compared to 14% for the Ceralacca, thanks to harvesting taking place 30 days later. No oak touched this wine, yet it was dense, structured and robust – a wine that commanded respect, not least for its €7.50 price!
Nektare Primitivo di Manduria Dolce naturale DOCG
Well, yesterday’s 14% passito Primitivo at A Mano was dry, but this one a the same alcohol level was beautifully sweet, with some savoury character – a perfect match for fruit cake, chocolate, blue cheese or cantucci! On the label two alcohol % were shown: 14% and 18%, the latter being the alcohol % if it fermented to dryness.
We returned to Lecce for an afternoon of relaxation, prior to our final night of tasting…..