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.

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