2016 Guttarolo Amphora Primitivo
Though Puglia doesn’t necessarily conjure imagery of spectacular wines, the cool limestone ridge on which Cristiano Guttarolo’s property sits is uniquely placed to offer unique and interesting wines. It isn’t named Gioia del Colle, or “Jewel of the Hill”, for no reason. Strong sea breezes cool the property but do not harm it, while its exposure to the sun ensures the steady ripening of its fruit.
Guttarolo has been here since 2004 and while he remains mostly dedicated to Primitivo, Puglia’s star-studded black grape, he farms a number of indigenous varieties across his seven hectare holdings, all organically. He planted everything himself, so he has a unique relationship with this plot of land, and an inherent understanding of its beauty and occasional follies.
This wine is 100% Primitivo. It is from the oldest of Guttarolo's vines, up to about 25 years now. The wine is fermented in tank with natural yeasts and zero sulfur and aged in 500-litre clay amphora sealed with wax for a year; it is bottled without fining, filtration or sulfur. While Pugliese reds are noted for their sun-drenched ripeness, richness, akin to more traditional Barossan Shiraz, this Primitivo is bunchy, fresh, with boundless energy. There is an undergrowth note, that tames the fruit and makes you feel like you’re walking through an ancient castle, cool walls and history around you.
2016 Guttarolo Amphora Primitivo
What is natural wine?
The philosophy of natural wine is one of minimal-intervention, from vineyard to cellar. Natural wines are made using quality grapes, generally grown using organic and biodynamic practices, however vineyards may not always be certified as such due to the restrictive nature of these certification systems. Natural wines in most cases won't be filtered or fined, processes which generally involve the use of animal products.
Are your wines vegan friendly?
In almost all cases yes! Generally if you see "unfiltered and unfined" this will be an assurance that no animal products have been used in the process. The fining process is where conventional winemakers will often use egg and fish products (yep pretty gross) to remove sediment from wines. The sediment is natural, healthy and adds flavour so natural wine makers almost always leave some of it in.
Are your wines chemical free?
In most cases yes, natural wines generally use grapes grown using biodynamic or organic farming methods and will have none of the over 200 additives that can be found in conventional wines, with the occasional exception of a tiny amount of sulphur. Some natural winemakers choose to add a small amount of sulphur (SO2) to ensure their wines are less volatile, while a lot of natural winemakers believe strongly against this.
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