Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bargain Bins (Wines to try for under $20)

© 2010 Donofrio

2006 Taurino "Riserva", Salice Salentino Rosso (Apulia, Italy)
Appellation: Salice Salentino (DOC)
Region: Apulia
Grapes: Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera 
Food Pairings: Grilled meats and roasts, tomato-based sauces and bold cheeses, pizza w grilled vegetables.

This wine hails from Apulia, Italy (the narrow strap of land that runs the "heel of Italy") and bears the name of the small town that centers production. Bush vine cultivation, known locally as alberello, has long been the tradition here. In recent years, many producers have abandoned that practice in favor of modern, wire-trained viticulture.

The famed estate of Dottor Cosimo Taurino has kept the single-bush cultivation tradition in the vineyard and prefers the innovation to be shown in the winery instead. Six to eight months in small oak barrique, still unusual in this area, is what gives this wine its subtle spice and elegant structure.

Tasting Notes:

  • The color is medium ruby at the core and fades to a light-ruby, pinkish rim. The tears are viscous and slightly stained.

  • On the nose there is an earthy, spicy element to the baked fruit notes. Aromas of red cherry, red plum, and deeper black fruit are wrapped by sweet and savory (subtle) oak nuances.
  • The palate is filled with fresh-baked cherry pie flavors and elements of red/black plum. The acidity is fresh and lively and balances out the tannin, earth, and oak. The finish is fairly long, complex, and a touch warm. The wine is still fairly tight upon the opening; give it some air and time...

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