Burgundy World

Little Italy

California superficial style for this Puglia
Published:  December 02, 2004

At their best, Italian wines, particularly the reds, are match for most French wines. I still remember evenings over Barolos in London, or the so-called chambré wines in Roma, chambré being room temperature in August. It was like soup.

Italians are class people and their wines can have class, body, fruit, earthiness, age, style and explosive, yet original, flavours. Like some new French wines, though, they can be more style rather than substance, almost like their towns and dress. Fun, but ultimately superficial. Like a Lamborgini in Longford.

That's the case with this 9 euro bottle of A-Mano, a 2002 Puglia Primitivo. A lot of effort went into the label: inspired by a precious hand inlaid wood table created by an artisan in the south, it says. "We have used the same attention to detail in the crafting of this wine," it adds. Clever trevor, not half, as they say in Italian restaurants around London. They could have made a minor effort with their English; a good translation does not cost much.

This A-Mano packs 13.5% of industrial sweetness and just about gets by. Red berries, fruit, a hint of oak, modern style. Like some Californians. And a nice bottle label for Bridget Jonesy types and people with new designer tables, complete with signed names: scripted Mark, for Mark Shannon from California, and Elvezia Sbalchiero. Still, for the wine, crafting is not the word, but crafty, definitely.

Worth a go as it is robust, but not really with your best dishes, and not if there are other choices in the shop. I see a shop in Seattle has given it a Wine of the week status. Nah. Get real.

Still, C+ which is honours grade

Would sell buckets at 5 euro

©RJ Doyle

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