San Felice Pugnitello IGT 2007
The well respected producer San Felice is known not just for their quality traditional tuscan wines, but also for their “vitiarium” experimental vineyard, which operates in collaboration with the University of Florence to explore rare, native varieties. The goal is classification of grapevine germplasm and the genetic makeup of Tuscany’s idigenous vines. There are currently nearly 300 heritage varieties planted in this important vineyard.
Little Fist, Lotta Flavour, Really Bad Label
Pugnitello is the first wine released commercially from this vineyard, and is an old native variety of Tuscany. There is an important thread through many of Italy’s great red wines: bright, intense fruit up front, high acidity and a characteristic bitterness on the finish. The combination produces succulent wines built for food pairing and less so for cocktail sipping.
The Pugnitello is a perfect example of these characteristics and shows that they are part of Italian grape heritage. The grape, so named for the fist-like clusters in which it grows, produces a wine that is highly aromatic, almost shockingly so for such a dense wine, with huge floral, cherry and sandalwood notes. The palate is concentrated, powerful and dense, but at all times feels alive and palate cleansing due to the superbly balanced acidity and protein cleansing tannins. The finish is completely succulent with that fundamental herbal and fruit pith bitterness that I find characteristic in many of Italy’s best wines, particularly those from Tuscany and the south.
Made with vines planted in the late 90’s, planted in calcerous marl soils. Aged in french oak for 1-2 years and then in bottle for 8 months before release. About 1000 cases made.
This is highly recommended for the adventurous and those seeking to learn more about Italy’s heritage grapes.
Very Good+ to Excellent
$70 at Kits Wine