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Hoorah for Syrah from Puglia

Italy produces so many interesting wines outside the famous areas of Tuscany and Piedmont. I highly recommend exploring other provinces of the country to discover a wealth new wine-tasting experiences. There are many local grape varieties beyond Tuscany’s Sangiovese and Piedmont’s Nebbiolo, but you can also find new spins on classic varietals, as I did with the Vignamaggio Suhaili Syrah 2006 (about $15) from Puglia. The province of Puglia comprises the “heel” of Italy’s boot shape at the southeastern tip of the country, and its dry, hot climate is perfect for big red grapes. The Suhaili Syrah has a subtle nose, but the flavors pour off the tongue in waves. I detected ripe plums, chocolate, freshly baked soft pretzels, basil, mint and pink peppercorn. Hearty tannins will match well with spicy meat. Pair it with grilled spicy sausages or meatballs in chili tomato sauce.

Quaffability Rating: 87

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“Hoorah for Syrah from Puglia”