2016 Tenute Rubino Oltremé Salento Susumaniello

After really enjoying Vallone’s Susu, perche no another? This is modern, fresh and just the right weight, no too ripe not too fresh. No rustico here. Bright red cherry runs deep and long without bombast. The effortless first touch of Andrea Pirlo and a perfectly weighted palate sends this to a plate of pasta. Not sure how something with such simple self assurance but no little depth got Tre Bicchieri. It’s not oaky or built for keeping but has lovely even ripeness and the fine acid mingles well with the finest grade sandpaper tannins. A bit of nut and dried fruit skin says Salento. Wish my football team played with such composure.

13% alcohol. Diam again! 10 euros from the treasure trove of Enoteca Wine and More in Lecce.

93 punti.

2015 Vallone Salento Susumaniello

No matter how much you think you know Italian varieties along comes another to put your shallow understanding in its place. Andrea, the amazingly knowledgeable source of Pugliese wine wisdom and owner of the great Mama Elvira wine bar in Lecce, says Susumaniello is an old variety gaining new popularity for its relative freshness and medium weight. Other sources say it may be a cross of Sangiovese and an as yet unidentified partner. This savoury lovely bears out both views. Initially some coffee oak lifts the the odour, then sweet ripe cherries pushing into plum and a nutty savoury finish in an old leather chair. Just a bit of regional dried grape skin and some good natural acidity wound with fine tannin drag things along.

13.50% alcohol. Diam again, becoming a thing in Puglia! 11 euros.

92 punti.