The Susumaniello is a black berry grape typical of Salento and especially of the area of Brindisi. Its name, which derives from "somarello" (mule), alludes to the considerable productivity of the vine when young, such as to overload the donkey used to transport the grapes harvested. Vigorous grapes, resistant to extreme climate, excellent for blending. Why, then, did it risk become extinct?
Because the Susumaniello plant, after about ten harvests, becomes incredibly stingy with its bunches. Less than a kilo of grapes per plant. Too little for the Puglia market, long focused on quantity. But those few bunches, some enlightened producers have understood, are amazing for cleanliness, elegance and concentration of aromas.
As a red, it’s at its best. It produces dense, intense, almost black ruby wine. On the nose, ripe plum, dark fruit, berries and jams, alternating with hints of spices such as pepper and vanilla, intensified by possible phases in wood. Because Susumaniello, which is very good even in steel alone, is incredible if you wait a few months, maybe even a year in wood, and then if it can still rest in the bottle. On the palate, in its various interpretations, it has a pleasant acidic freshness and with tannins of great finesse, in an explosive concert of sensations that the waiting and ageing can make amazing. Another Puglia, definitely.