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The Primitivo grape variety once had a reputation for largely producing jammy, over-ripe wines with plenty of tannins, but thanks to winemakers like Filippo Cassano this stereotype is increasingly a thing of the past. Filippo set up his winery in south-eastern Puglia in 2003 out of a desire to return to his family’s viticultural roots and it was only natural that he would choose to focus his attentions on the local Primitivo grape.
A key factor in Filippo’s success is the altitude of his vineyards which all sit at between 300 and 450 metres. This helps to maintain freshness in the grapes despite the hot summer conditions, creating wines which have rich fruity flavours balanced by plenty of acidity. He also ages his wines in stainless steel tanks to showcase the pure varietal character of the Primitivo.
Filippo’s masterful Polvanera 14 Primitivo which spends 24 months in the tanks followed by 12 months of ageing in the bottle. The result is a thoroughly modern Primitivo bursting with dark berries and plums along with hints of licorice, dried herbs and tobacco. The generous full body and smooth tannins make this an ideal match for hearty dishes like beef bourguignon or pappardelle with beef ragu.