Cristiano Guttarolo’s vineyards are away the plains which often produce hot, flabby wines, on a plateau of limestone some 400 metres above sea level, they benefit from the unique climate in which they live. Daytime temperatures are cooler than usual thanks to a strong breeze from the sea, while the site’s elevation offers a fluctuation between day and night temperatures, allowing the grapes to ripen fully while retaining freshness and finesse. While the wines are unmistakably Pugliese, full of wild, sun-drenched fruit, they have a balance often missing around here, one that allows the grape and place to sing and the drinker to enjoy the beautiful minerality that karst soils bring. Vineyard work is excellent, organic and done entirely by hand, while in the cellar Cristiano eschews the use of additives entirely as these are the sort of wines he likes to drink.
A selection of Cristiano’s best Primitivo from vines up to fifty years old, it was fermented on the skins in stainless steel for a week, before being pressed off to terracotta amphora for a short élevage. With bright, brambly fruit and a dusty, herbaceous character from the karst terrain, this remains a peerless example of the grape.