When the importing arm of our business (Winefantastic) was born in 2000, one of its first listings was a wine called Valle Cupa from Puglia, a Salento Rosso made by a winery called Apollonio.
It was one of our star products, big-boned, rich, fruity, spicy and above all else, balanced. Oh, and it was wrongly priced. To quote a horrible cliché, it overdelivered.
It was a bargain.
Situations like this have a habit of being short-lived and over a couple of years the price crept up to the point that its USP was kind of lost. We were moving slowly over from buying from UK agents to direct import and we lost touch.
Round about 2010 I bumped into them again in Italy and immediately recognised the style of the wines. They still had an exclusive supply arrangement for Apollonio wines in the UK but we were able to negotiate on another range, Rocca dei Mori.
And we haven't looked back.
Not cheap but our best seller in the range is regularly the dearest wine here, the Squinzano. If you like your reds bold and punchy, look no further.