If the DOCG were trophies, Castel del Monte would have the fullest showcase in Puglia.
In fact, it owns three of the four DOCG wines of the entire region: two for the undisputed Nero di Troia, the third most important grape variety of Puglia.
The denominations take their name from the icon of the territory: the octagonal fortress of the thirteenth century, commissioned by Frederick II, that dominates the plateau of the western Murge.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, Castel del Monte is also known as the most mysterious Castle of the peninsula. From the octagonal plan to the position chosen for its building, which creates surreal plays of light and shadow, Castel del Monte is among the buildings that most intrigue scholars and attract millions of visitors. In addition, around the castle and its history there is the eclectic figure of Frederick II that will never cease to fascinate the public.
Less mystery but equal fascination towards the black gold of Puglia. The fruit of the land that surrounds Castel del Monte: its vines give life to one of the best wines in the world, certainly the best of Puglia, so much so as to conquer in recent years three denominations of controlled and guaranteed origin.
The fourth DOCG in Puglia has been assigned to the Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale of the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi.
In the pyramid of the classification of wine quality the DOCG are the first step of the podium in Italy and Castel del Monte garrisons it with: Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG, Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva DOCG and Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva DOCG, all set up in 2011.
Let’s find out more about the provinces of Bari and BAT, the territory of these disciplinaries.
Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG, as well as taking its name from the Federician fortress and extending its vineyards in the surrounding area, expands to the Natural Park of Alta Murgia. Its production area is between the provinces of Bari and Barletta-Andria-Trani.
The municipalities within which it is produced are Minervino Murge, Andria, Corato, Trani, Ruvo, Terlizzi, Bitonto, Palo del Colle and Toritto as well as the administrative island D’Ameli of the municipality of Binetto.
To obtain the DOCG, the wines must be produced with a minimum of 90 percent of grapes from Bombino Nero. The grapes are vinified in rosé. The resulting wine is quite consistent and structured, of a cherry-pink color. Its hints of strawberry and raspberry give elegance but also a wide matching ability.
Crifo wines offer a wide variety of labels: from Augustale Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG single variety, 12% vol., well paired with fish dishes as well as typical focaccia from Bari, to Extra Dry Cryfus Sixty Edition Castel del Monte DOP, 11.5% vol., to accompany raw seafood based banquets.
Another DOCG is Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva (Aged Red Wine), related to the cultivation area in the “Murgia Centrale”. The municipalities of reference are Corato, Ruvo di Puglia, Terlizzi, Bitonto, Palo del Colle, Toritto and Binetto, Minervino Murge and, in part, the territory of the municipalities of Andria and Trani.
Also in this case the production must derive at least 90% from the reference vine, Nero di Troia grapes. It is a wine aged for at least two years, one of which in barrels, with a color varying from ruby red to garnet red. It develops characteristic notes, although delicate, of plum, blackberry and cherry but also vanilla and hints of tobacco, cocoa and licorice given by aging. Excellent with succulent dishes and red meats.
The denomination Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva DOCG is then reserved for wines obtained from Nero di Troia grape variety for a minimum of 65%.
Starting from Castel del Monte up to the Natural Park of Alta Murgia, the area affects the municipalities of Minervino Murge, part of Andria, Corato, Trani, Ruvo, Terlizzi, Bitonto, Palo del Colle and Toritto and the administrative island D’Ameli of the municipality of Binetto. Even this DOCG, before being released for consumption, must undergo an aging of at least two years, of which at least one in wood.
With an intense and deep ruby red, it has the characteristic scents of plum and blackberry, to which the aging gives spicy notes of liquorice and balsamic. It stands for its great structure and important tannins, impeccable on succulent meat dishes.
The top red Crifo is dedicated to the DOCG Riserva Nero di Troia: we are talking about the label Augustale Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
Exuberant character, unparalleled olfactory intensity. Red roses and pot-pourri, fruit in spirits and boero, cloves, cinnamon and cinchona, menthol and aromatic tobacco. The taste, the alcohol and the velvety texture of the tannins balance an intense freshness, passe-partout for a long life in the bottle. The aftertaste is long lasting, with persistent balsamic and toasted notes.
Food pairings: cavatelli with lamb sauce, tripe with potatoes, chops with horse sauce, baked sausage with cherry tomatoes, chestnuts. 14% vol.