Italy’s deep south is best known for big, smoky wines made from its prized local varieties – Primitivo, Negroamaro, and in this case the uniquely Puglian Susumaniello grape. In local dialect Susumaniello means something like “loaded like a donkey”, referring to the wine’s massive amounts of aroma and flavour. Pillastro’s creator Angelo Maci is a leading figure in Puglia’s recent quality revolution, and is fervently proud of local traditions and rare grape varieties. As fans of southern Italian wines – and Pillastro fans in particular – will agree, Puglia offers “undreamed-of character and potential” (Hugh Johnson), and mouthwatering Susumaniello is the supreme example of this. Serve in large glasses with braised lamb shanks or caponata.
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