Pugnitello is a red wine grape variety native to Italy. Its name derives from its small, compact bunch, reminiscent of a small, closed fist from the Italian ‘pugno’ (fist) and ‘tello’ (diminutive, small).
Where grown: It is part of the blend in Costa Toscana Rosso. It is also found in Montecastelli Pisano, a village in or frazione of the comune of Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, in the province of Pisa.
Characteristics: Small, sparse bunches bearing small berries. Resistant grape skins. Good disease resistance overall, very vigorous, but low-yielding.
Wine style: Pugnitello resembles the Montepulciano grape of Abruzzo fame, boasting rich colour and fleshy fruit. However Pugnitello tends to be more fruity and perfumed, and is not as reductive. The wines show rich and thick red-cherry aromas and flavours with notes of plum jam, burnt almond, leather and earth.
Certified organic: La Selva (Maremma, Tuscany).
Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).
Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p92-3.
Oxford Companion to Wine 4th edition ed. Jancis Robinson MW and Julia Harding MW (Oxford University Press, 2015).