This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Italian Varietals under £15 went to Costarossa, Surani, Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy 2012, 14.5%
- Abbadia Ardenga, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 2012
This award came down to a tussle between the fame and prestige of Tuscany and the sun-kissed land of Puglia. It was the latter which came out on top, with a wine that embodies all that is good about the region – so often the source of brilliant-value wines that regularly punch above their weight.
Costarossa is owned by Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine, a company set up by brothers of the same name back in 1925 when they moved from Puglia to Verona, settling on the region as the perfect location for launching their wine business. Today it is one of Italy’s leading independent, privately owned wine companies and is still run by the Pasquas, with the founders’ sons – Carlo, Giorgio and Umberto – presiding over the company’s businesses.
Its headquarters are in the heart of Valpolicella with the winery buildings couched among its vineyards – the head winemaker is also part of the Pasqua family.
Initially dedicated solely to Veneto wines, Pasqua now has interests in several other wine regions across Italy. Its growth has been impressive, to the extent that in 2013 it was responsible for the production of more than 14 million bottles of wine.
This Trophy-winner very much celebrates the family’s return to its homeland. Primitivo grapes thrive in Puglia, achieving perfect ripeness thanks to pristine growing conditions, including plentiful sunlight hours. Manduria is on the Salento peninsula, so enjoys the benefits of cooling breezes from both the Ionian and Adriatic seas, which help counter the searing temperatures the region is subjected to in the summer months.
For this triumphant 2012, Costarossa left the best Primitivo grapes on the vine to overripen and dry out slightly, concentrating the sugars. Following a first fermentation and malolactic fermentation in steel tanks, the wine is left to settle and mature in barriques of various sizes for up to eight months.
Written by Decanter