Saturday, May 9, 2009
What's a Squinzano?
The theme country/region of the 2008 Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival was Italy and, in amongst all the big gun Barolos and Amarones, I found this little pleaser - although nothing about the wine itself is "little." Well, maybe the name causes a little bit of "what the hey?" I had to wonder what's a "Squinzano?" As for the wine though, it's big, concentrated and ripe and very approachable - with or without food - which is something I like.
46. 2001 Apollonio Squinzano Rosso (Squinzano DOC - Italy)
Hailing from Puglia, it turns out that Squinzano is one of the growing areas in the heel of the Italian boot. Apollonio, the winery, is a smaller, family run venture - now in its fourth generation of sons running the operation. This bottle is a blend of mostly negroamaro (70%), sangiovese (19%) and two malavasia varietals - malavasia nera di Lecce and malavasia nera di Brindisi. I know next to nothing about the area or these grapes (okay, maybe sangiovese isn't all that new to me but it's only 19%). But isn't that part of the fun in trying and discovering new wines.
The Wine Festival brought a number of new Italian wineries to the Vancouver area last year. I know that our personal exposure to and adventures in Italian wine have certainly expanded over the last couple of years. Apollonio appears to have gained a bit of a foothold in Vancouver. I have seen some of the winery's product in the government liquor stores - although not this particular wine. Hopefully, we'll see more of it.