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
Bottled in the own cellars by Castello Monaci
Enjoy now thru 2019
Rated 88 points by Wine Spectator
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.
Bottled by Cantele Azienda Vinicola
Robust and gamey, not for the faint of heart this brings the funk like the Brothers Johnson.
Estate: Third generation winemaker Natalino Del Prete is “as old school as they come” [the estate doesn’t even have a website]. Certified organic since 1994, Natalino is known for his robust character driven wines that are crafted ‘in the simplest way possible”.
Winemaking: In addition to organic viticulture and minimalist intervention, Natalino only uses naturally occurring yeasts, and does not refine or filter his wines. The importer [Louis Dressner Selections] describes the wines as “a perfect example of unpretentious peasant wine meant for everyday consumption”.
Tasting Notes: Brick garnet in color with aromas of morello cherry and funky, gamey earth. Tart red currant and dense black cherry flavors were amplified by a backbone of grippy tannins and finishing notes of tarry, volcanic earth, barnyard funk and hints of cedar.
Winemaker’s blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera
Salice Salentino Rosso
Produced and Bottled all’origine da: Azienda Agricola Natalino del Prete
On a recent trip to New Hampshire, I enthusiastically loaded up on wines since the state does not have any sales tax. I picked up bottles that I haven’t seen in any of my local markets, and was happy to find a Salice Salentino, as I believe I have exhausted all of the choices in my shops. 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 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.
Dark fruits and earth elements command this rustic red, with black cherry, blackberry and plum galvanizing an intriguing finish of black peppercorn, coffee and hints of dried floral notes. A fantastic balance of fruit and spice, this is a great companion at the table.
Bottled by Cantele Azienda Vinicolo Guagnano
Receiving DOC status in 1976, Salice Salentino wines are produced primarily from the Negroamaro grape in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce in Puglia. Domaine Michele Bettili dates back to 1850 when brothers Luigi and Antonio Bettili purchased 67 hectares of vineyards in Soave, near San Vittore in Lombardy. The brothers had “a dream to make sure that anyone might know the taste, the smell and the magic of their wine.” Today the estate is headed by the family’s 6th generation Michele Bettili and consists of multiple vineyards throughout southern Italy, along with their most prestigious, Tenuta Realborghetto, located near the northern village of Verona.
Dark garnet in colour with aromas of blackberry, fresh green bell pepper and hints of barnyard funk. Cherry, raisin, earth and roasted herbs provide an engaging blend of flavours in the full body, whilst silky smooth tannins, sweet vanilla and bitter dark chocolate linger enticingly between each sip. Rustic, bright, easy drinking, this is a fantastic glass for the table, along with being super budget friendly.
Winemaker’s blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera
Bottled by C.V.P.