Schola Sarmenti (Tuglie)

The Men in Black are back. In fact, they are never far away.
It was a convoluted route via a restaurant in an unmarked doorway, down a side alley, hidden away from everyone but the locals. Then a tip from Alfonso, the owner, to go to the tiny Enobar to see his friend Adriano, who then tipped us off about a new winery called Schola Sarmenti right down in Puglia’s southernmost corner. We made the call to Lorenzo and then it all went a bit “Godfather”. “We’ll meet at 17.00h in the square.” “How will we recognise you?” “Don’t worry, we’ll find you”. Men in black, following a black car along remote country roads, horses heads in beds, we experienced them all – apart from the horses heads. The wines are impressive. Traditional Puglian varieties evoking the southern sun-baked land. Rich, earthy and savoury. Precise and powerful. The focus here is on blending different local grape varieties together including NegroAmaro, Malvasia Nera Leccese and Primitivo, Zinfandel’s Italian cousin.