Whilst it is 35 degrees outside in Puglia, we are inside Borgo Egnazia in an air-conditioned room judging whites from Southern Italy. For me the standout was the white variety, Malvasia Bianco. Fragrant, textured, good minerality and acidity. The perfect style for the south.
The best wines have been exactly what the south should be making, and this is their strength. They can make wines that are complex and interesting at prices the north of Italy and most of the rest of the world for that matter cannot achieve.
In the afternoon session, we finished judging the rest off the whites with the real highlight being some of the Fiano’s from Campania. The best examples will age gracefully for many years to come.
Most disappointing for me were the Rose from Puglia. There were a few shining examples but there were many that were either industrial or poorly made. The 2011 vintage was not a great year for Rose from Puglia and I think it showed in the wines. The best examples were light in colour, savoury with plenty of acidity and drive through the palate. This is the style that for me, needs to be developed in Puglia.
One of the most fascinating parts of the program has been the discussion between Italian journalists and those guests from other countries. A lot of lively debate has taken place about the wines we have tried in previous sessions. There are many strong viewpoints, plenty of hand waving and overall, it has been fantastic to hear so many varied and positive views about what should take place in improving the wines of southern Italy.