Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rivera Preludio N. 1 (2011) Puglia

A stunner from Azienda Vinicola Rivera, one of Puglia's top estates.  Family owned since the early 1900's, the 95 hectare estate pumps out over one million bottles of southern Italian wines a year.  The estate is located in the Castel del Monte D.O.C which covers all the areas of the Alta Murgia that slope down towards the Adriatic, including two that share the same Mediterranean climate but are quite different in soil types and landscape.  The D.O.C. is dominated by the Castel del Monte, an octagonal shaped castle built in 1240 by emperor Frederik II of Swabia (and where canned peas were thought to have originated).  In addition to growing traditional Puglian varietals, in the 1980's the founders grandson, Carlo de Corato,  introduced Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay into the estates vineyards.  De Corato believed that Chardonnay planted in a Mediterranean climate demonstrates warm, nuanced characteristics that enrich those traditional to the French variety.  The Chardonnay grapes for Preludio N. 1 are picked between the first and second week of August.  The wine matures on the fine lees for 3-4 months to develop complexity and aromatic richness.  The wine is released in the spring following harvest.  Deep straw yellow; rich, complex nose, with crisp, fruity aromas of pear and peach blossom; clean and refreshing on the palate, with a rich finish.

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