If you've noticed the ads for WineChateau.com at the top of my posts, you've noticed that I've found a sponsor. Visit the web site if you get a chance; they have a great selection of Puglia wines. Which brings me to the difficulty I've been having: It's difficult to find high-quality wines from Puglia in Portland, Oregon. I've noticed that the super market chain Fred Meyer carries Taurino winery's Notarpanaro, one of my favorite wines from Puglia, for a mere $18. However, the best Puglia wines are still in Puglia.
As a result of Wine Chateau's sponsorship, I'm going to begin a monthly search and seizure of Puglia wines in Portland. Once a month, I'll post reviews of Puglia wines and tell you where I found them in Portland. If you're in Portland, it might be fun to follow along, and maybe we can organize a wine tasting in connection with my supper club, Hip Nana.
Two reviews of Puglia wines:
Terravecchia’s 2007 “Lámia” Primitivo
Where to Buy: Pastaworks
Short Review: This wine shoots itself in the foot
Terravecchia is a brand of Alberto Longo Winery, which is located in the north of Puglia. With a nose of plum, chocolate, and a some cola, I thought the wine was going to be a great example of a typical Primitivo. At first, the mouth was silky and rich. Sadly, about nine tenths of the way through, a sharp sour-cranberry acidity breaks out, leaving my mouth to pucker and my mind to wonder: why the hell did that happen? This wine would otherwise be excellent. I’ve experienced the same disappointment drinking Alberto Longo’s 2004 Cab Franc/Merlot blend, which also had too much total acidity.
Note: Alberto Longo’s 2006 “Capoposto” Negroamaro is a winner if you can find it. It was one of my Top 10 Negroamaro Wines from Puglia of 2010.
(Photo: Cantele's masseria-styled winery, located on the Salento Peninsula in southern Puglia)
Cantele Winery’s 2007 Salice Salentino Riserva
Where To Buy: Pastaworks
Short Review: Dependable, but nothing special
Salice Salentino wines are predominantly composed of the Negroamaro grape, around 80-90%, and Malvasia Nera usually fills in the rest. Nose of plum and dried cherry; mouth of cherry fruit, cedar, and smoke; the finish is thin. Overall, the wine is great with food but lacks oomph. It is not a typical Salice Salentino either: If you asked me to identify the wine I might say Montepulciano.
Note: If you’re going to buy Cantele wines, go for the 2009 or 2010 rose (one of my Top 5 Rosés from Puglia of 2010), the 2008 “Teresa Manara” Chardonnay, the 2008 “Alticelli” Fiano, or the 2006 “Teresa Manara” Negroamaro.
Tomorrow I'm bottling wine at Brooks Winery in Willamette Valley. Can't wait!
(Note on Rating System: I balance my rankings between quality and price, both elements go toward 50% of the rating)