10 native Italian varieties worth seeking out

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Nuragus

A Sardinian native. Once forgotten, it’s now giving better known Vermentino a run for its money. Long the victim of misguided viticultural practices, the variety’s potential was only recently appreciated (Nuragus ripens easily so needs canopy protection to avoid yielding flabby wines). Thickskinned and tannic, it’s not surprising that the ancient Phoenician prefix ‘nur’ means fire.

Try: Santadi, Pedraia, Nuragus di Cagliari, Sardinia 2010

Fresh, herbal and lemony wine that makes an excellent aperitif, but with sneaky concentration and depth. 16pts/20
Price: £11.50–£11.95 Exel, Swig
Drink: 2012–2013
Alc: 13%