1. Food

Wandering Puglia

Wines that Impressed Me

By

Santi Dimitri Aruca Negroamaro Rosso Salento IGT 2006

Deep almandine with black reflections and orange in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with balsamic accents mingled with prunes and jammy spice with some toasted almonds as well, and hints of vanilla -- 10% ages in barriques for a few months, while the rest ages in steel. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with rich prune cherry fruit supported by moderate bitter acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh plum prune finish with dry tannic underpinning. Quite nice, and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews. Worth seeking out.
Score: 88

Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2006

The DOC says the wine must be 80% Negroamaro, and now people are shifting to considerably higher percentages if not leaving out the Malvasia Nera that was once added. The wine is deep pyrope with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with prune cherry fruit supported by greenish accents, some underbrush, and decidedly jammy overtones -- prune jam; with more swishing some dusky graphite shavings also emerge. On the palate it's ample and rich, with jammy plum prune fruit supported by smoky acidity and clean rather bitter tannins that flow into a clean fruit laced finish. Pleasant, and will drink very well with red meats or light stews, and will also age nicely for 3-5 years. Nice fruit, and quite approachable,
Score: 88-90

Cantele Teresa Manara IGT Salento 2006

This is Negroamaro. Poured pyrope ink with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is muted at first swish, though more swishing brings up prune fruit supported by delicate floral accents and some vegetal notes, with some underlying graphite shavings. Much more concentration. On the palate it's ample, with rich cherry plum fruit supported by clean deft berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are warm and have a deft cedar laced burr with lasting warmth, and flow into a long warm peppery finish. It's quite nice, though very young, and needs another year or two to get its bearings. It will work quite well with grilled meats or stews, including stewed game, and will age well for 8-10 years. It needs time, because the oak is fairly intense.
Score: 85

Feudi di Guagnano Nero di Velluto Negroamaro IGT Salento 2006

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with prune fruit mingled with green leather and spice, and a fair amount of peppery spice and cedar; the grapes are dried for a month before pressing, and this concentrates and develops the aromas, which bring to mind some wines of the Veneto; as it opens interesting almond accents and jammy sweetness emerge. On the palate it's ample, with sweet prune fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and moderate acidity that flow into a clean velvety finish. It's rich, fruity, and very smooth, and if you like this style you will enjoy it very much. It's not for everyone, but it will find its aficionados. Impressive, if you like the style.
Score: 88

Feudi di Guagnano Cupone Salice Salentino DOC Riserva 2003

Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, and fairly pungent, with smoke and penetrating accents at the outset, and as it opens reveals jammy prune fruit. Quite a bit going on. On the palate it's full, with rich prune fruit supported by fairly bright prune acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that that flow into a clean jammy berry fruit finish. It's interesting, and though very extracted and quite ripe, not too overripe, and is pleasant to drink. An interesting expression of the wine, and particular too; it is a wine you will either like or not. But if you do it has quite a bit to say.
Score: 85-7

Leone de Castris Eloveni Negroamaro IGT Salento 2008

This is fermented in steel - no oak - and is left with slightly higher residual sugar. Violet with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is powerful, with jammy plum cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity. Pleasant, and approachable. On the palate it's rich, with fairly sweet, jammy raspberry fruit supported by moderate acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that do have a slight burr, and flow into a fairly sweet jammy finish. There are residual sugars, which make the wine very approachable, and will work for introducing those who prefer sweeter wines. More "sophisticated" wine lovers will likely prefer a drier wine, but if you like the style you will enjoy it very much; it's easy to drink and quite versatile too.
Score: 85

Taurino Cosimo Patriglione Salento IGT Rosso 2003

This is a cru that with a delayed harvest from a Negroamaro vineyard with 80 year old vines. It does spend 12-14 months in barriques, and is aged in tanks for a time too. It's inky pyrope with almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, with rich prune cherry fruit supported by nutmeg and cloves, and also some cedar. Very complex, and still very young; one wouldn't think that it is from a very hot vintage. On the palate it's full, and rich, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins with lasting warmth that flow into a long warm berry fruit finish. Most impressive, and a wine that's well worth seeking out. Even if you like more traditional wines, you will like this.
Score: 92-4

Taurino Cosimo Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2006

Negroamaro and 15-20% Malvasia Nera; it's deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fresh, with prune berry fruit and some nutmeg mingled with prunes and deft acidity that is fairly bright, and some smoky underbrush. On the palate it's bright, with lively red berry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight burr, and flow into a clean fresh fairly tart finish. It's quite drinkable, and will drink very well with succulent red meats or light stews; with respect to many of the other Salice Salentino wines we have tastes the grapes are not less ripe, but not overripe, and this is a very refreshing change. Well worth seeking out.
Score: 90-91

Cantele Amativo Salento IGT 2006

This is a blend of 60% Primitivo and 40% Negroamaro; it's inky pyrope with black reflections and cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with plum cherry fruit supported by some underbrush, and by a fair amount of cedar and savory accents. Quite a bit of oak. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich prune fruit supported by fairly bright acidity and by tannins that have a distinct oaky finish. It's pleasant, but needs time to absorb the oak it has been fed. Nice fruit, but the oak is a bit overpowering right now.
Score: 86

Santa Barbara Ursa Major Salento IGT Rosso 2002

This is 80% Primitivo, 20% Negroamaro. Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, and quite fresh, with chalky spice and red berry fruit supported by bitterness and some lactic acid. On the palate it's quite fresh, with rich sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright finish with berry fruit and dry tannic underpinning. It's quite deft, and will drink very well with foods, an excellent reminder that just because a vinrtage has a bad reputation -- and the 2002 does -- the wines from it are not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary, they can be surprisingly good.
Score: 86-8

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.