Cristiano Guttarolo Amphora Primitivo 2016
Cristiano’s takes on Puglia’s native varieties Primitivo and Negroamaro are from a special place.
Away from the plains which often produce hot, flabby wines, here vines sit on a plateau of fossilised limestone some four hundred meters above sea level and benefit from the unique climate in which they live. It is cooler than usual in the daytime thanks to a stiff wind from the sea, while the site’s elevation offers a fluctuation between temperatures day and night, 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 that hazy minerality that karst soils bring.
Vineyard work is excellent, organic and done entirely by hand, while Cristiano eschews the use of additives entirely in hope of making the sort of wines he likes to drink.
Since 2006 Cristiano has been vinifying a proportion of his fruit in amphorae and it is easy to see why: the vessel seems to result in wines that are more aromatically open and complete. This wine spent six months on skins and pulp in the vessel layered with salty, wild fruits.