Salentine Sanity – the Wines of Alessandro Carrozzo

The house of Cantina Vitivinicola Carrozzo Alessandro was not known to me until Marina Alaimo published the following beautiful account on the Luciano Pignataro web site: The description by Marina was so fascinating that I had to try and get hold of some bottles to taste for myself. Unfortunately, Carrozzo does not have an importer in Denmark, but I contacted the Carrozzos, and they actually sent me samples to taste.

A very brief and selective recap of Marina’s information-packed post: The Carrozzos live in Magliano, in the comune of Carmiano, province of Lecce. The territory of Carmiano actually lies within the Copertino DOC area, but the Carrozzos use the Salento IGT for their wines. The Carrozzos have grown vines in the Salento for four generations, but the present story begins in 1978 when Luigina Sozzo brought to her marriage with Pino Carrozzo a family vineyard planted with negroamaro ad alberello (bush vines). Luigina and Pino have since then worked and lived their common life project of tending the soil, nurturing their vines and making sound, healthy wine.

The Carrozzos own 11 hectares of vineyard, which are planted ad alberello, and they have developed their own system of individual care for each vine. They have entirely forsaken chemicals and irrigation, and strive to make wine with a low level of human intervention. Up until 2001, all wine was sold sfuso (in bulk) to local eating places. Since then, an increasing number of bottles has been made, and present bottled production is around 60,000/year.

Elena sent me three wines to taste:

Salento Rosso Bonsignore 2009

This is made from predominantly negroamaro, with the typical Salentine addition of some malvasia nera. Exuberant, very charming nose with sweet, juicy cherries, blackberries, hints of liquorice, sweet spices, graphite; fresh and straightforward. Medium weight, juicy and fresh in the mouth, good acidity, fine tannins. OK length with juicy/sapid cherries, blackberries, liquorice, graphite and sweet spices. This is a fresh, charming, lovely juicy, straightforward and sound wine, hugely drinkable. Delicious wine, and according to Marina this costs only 3 Euros including VAT at the cellar!

Primitivo del Salento Krasì 2009

Krasì is the Griko word for wine (Griko being the Salentine Greek dialect spoken in a few villages on the Salento peninsula). Broad, fruity and very spicy nose, with sweet cherries and blueberries, oriental spices, exotic wood (this wine has been agred in stainless steel) and sweet liquorice; juicy and immediate. Medium weight in the mouth, very juicy, good freshness, good, healthy tannins, dry. Long, berryish, juicy, with cherries, blueberries, exotic wood, liquorice, oriental spices. Fresh and immediate wine, highly drinkable, exudes essential goodness.

Salento Negroamaro Carminio 2009

This is 100% negroamaro and has aged for 6 months in barriques. Dense and quite intense nose with sweet dark berries, sweet oriental spices, bakelite/graphite, slight hint of exotic wood, despite dark expression very fresh and charming. Medium weight in the mouth, juicy, quite intense, good freshness, slight and invigorating rasp of grape tannins. Good length with juicy and intense core of dark berries, spices, graphite, light touch of exotic wood. This is a serious wine of somewhat dark complexion, but manages to maintain an essential and charming juicy soundness and health. Lovely

The Carrozzos make wines that I want to fill my cellar to bursting point with. The essential sanity of their production methods and pricing, the immediacy and charm and sheer drinkability of their wines, and the overwhelming sense of wellbeing that they engender is something I want to have available always. If I can’t get a Danish importer to start importing it, I will have to do it myself.


Yours truly


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