Gran Passione Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2013

Brand: Gran Passione is a label of the Botter family, who since 1928 have been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices. Today the company is managed by the family’s third generation, with a “multi-territorial approach that spans the whole of Italy”, focusing on native vines and organic viticulture. Gran Passione sets out to express the passion, devotion and tradition of vine growers.

Winemaking: Grapes are from vineyards with clay and limestone soils. Aged for at least 9-12 months in wooden casks, then in stainless steel tanks before bottling. [A total aging time of at least 24 months is required for Riserva status.]

Tasting notes: Red-violet in colour with inviting cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, pepper spice and floral aromas. Black cherry, red currant, black pepper, leather and a streak of sour cherry are framed by pleasantly bitter tannins and bright acidity. A wisp of smoky earth along with a returning shake of cinnamon compliment the dry, fruity finish. Friendly and rustic, an easy drinking Negroamaro that is comfortable on its own or with a wide variety of hearty dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Though it drinks well on its own, this full-bodied red wine pairs with heartier meals such as roasted and grilled red meat, stews and dried sausages.

100% Negroamaro
Salice Salentino DOC
Italy
Produced by Casa Vinicola Botter & C. S.P.A.
13% Alcohol
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Sample submitted for editorial consideration

Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2013

Estate: Giovanni Batista Cantele founded the Cantele winery in 1979 along with his sons Augusto and Domenico. Prior to that, Giovanni was a successful wine broker, purchasing Puglian wines and selling them in northern Italy. Today under the direction of his grandson Gianni Cantele [Augosto’s son], the family estate consists of 50 hectares of vines and an additional 150 hectares owned by other growers that the family manages. The family grows many indigenous grapes such as Primitivo and Negroamaro, along with international varieties like Merlot and Syrah.

Philosophy: “We have always thought of our wines as food” in that they “offer drinkability and balanced aromas and flavors when paired with dishes at the dinner table”.

Winemaking: Herbicides and pesticides are kept to a minimum, [if they are even used at all]. After being destemmed and crushed, the must macerates with skin contact for approximately 10 days. Aged in 1-2 year old barriques for approximately 6 months.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries, herbs and earth. Layers of dark fruit [think plum, blackberry and black cherry] over black pepper and a wisp of smoky earth. Silky tannins and good acidity fuse into more fruit and spice on the lengthy finish. Well balanced, easy drinking and easy to pair, a fantastic value.

Enjoy at 18° C [64° F].

100% Negroamaro
Salice Salentino DOC
Italy
Bottled by Cantele Azienda Vinicola
13% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy

Rated 90 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Castello Monaci ‘Liante’ Salice Salentino DOC 2014

monacisalice14

Estate: Housed in a 16th century castle with medieval foundations once run by Basiliani monks with a long winemaking tradition, Castello Monaci is located along the Adriatic Sea in Puglia, southeastern Italy. The estate is owned and run by Lina Memmo, whose family has owned the property since the 19th century, along with her husband Vitantonio Seracca Guerrieri. The estate is dedicated to a sustainable philosophy of the cultivation of indigenous grapes such as Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from certified sustainable estate vineyards. Fermented in stainless steel, followed by 6 months “in the cellar where 25% the wine will rest in French oak and the remainder in stainless steel”. The name ‘Liante’ is the name of the “wind of the Levant” which blows across the Adriatic region.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of dark berries with a shake of crushed pink peppercorn. Inviting blackberry, black cherry, a hint of bitter dark chocolate and smoky herbs culminate in a clean fruit finish with the distinctive bitter edge Negroamaro is renowned for. Rustic and easy drinking, super versatile at the table.

80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera di Lecce
Salice Salentino DOC
Italy
Bottled in the own cellars by Castello Monaci
13% Alcohol
$11
Enjoy now thru 2019

Rated 88 points by Wine Spectator

Cantele Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva DOC 2011

salicecantele

Estate: Giovanni Batista Cantele founded the Cantele winery in 1979 along with his sons Augusto and Domenico. Prior to that, Giovanni was a successful wine broker, purchasing Puglian wines and selling them in northern Italy. Today under the direction of his grandson Gianni Cantele [Augosto’s son], the family estate consists of 50 hectares of vines and an additional 150 hectares owned by other growers that the family manages. The family grows many indigenous grapes such as Primitivo and Negroamaro, along with international varieties like Merlot and Syrah.

Philosophy: “We have always thought of our wines as food”, in that they “offer drinkability and balanced aromas and flavors when paired with dishes at the dinner table”.

Winemaking: Herbicides and pesticides are kept to a minimum, if they are even used at all in the vineyards “in order to raise the quality of the wines”. Aged in 1-2 year old barriques for approximately 6 months.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with delightfully earthy aromas of wild berry preserves, garrigue and hints of wildflowers. Tastes rather similar to the aromas, with berry and floral notes providing a delicate edge to the rustic, earthy backbone. Black pepper and leather elements linger on the velvety finish.

100% Negroamaro
Salice Salentino
Italy
Bottled by Cantele Azienda Vinicola
13% Alcohol
$12
Enjoy now

Angiuli Donato Negroamaro Salento IGP 2013

donatosalento

A fantastic value, this is a wonderfully glugable Negroamaro to accompany a wide variety of dishes.

Estate: The Angiuli estate is located in the Salento region of Puglia, southeastern Italy. The estate accompanied by “the passion for the land”, has been passed down from father to son for 3 generations. Donato Angiuli along with his sons Vito and Giuseppe run the family estate today. The family strives to cultivate indigenous varietals that are naturally complimented by the soil and microclimate of their land.

Winemaking: Aged in steel and “placed on the market a month after bottling”.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of fresh berries and earthy hints. Vivid black cherry and blackberry flavours run atop an undercurrent of earth and spice, silky tannins and berry notes comprise the clean finish.

100% Negroamaro
Salento IGP
Italy
Estate Bottled by Angiuli Donato
12.5% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now thru 2016