The Puglia Wine Review, October 1, 2011

In this month's edition of The Puglia Wine Review, I found a very special Negroamaro, the Scaliere by Rosa del Golfo winery. It matches everything I want: it's interesting, delicious, and cheap. It reminds me of why I love reviewing wines. There's something special about digging around until you find that special wine. It's easy to find a great wine in the $50 price range, but how about 14 bucks? It's another reason to appreciate wines from Puglia, too.

As always, the following wines can be found in wine shops in Portland, Oregon.

Cantine Rosa Del Golfo 2008 “Scaliere” Negroamaro IGT

Grape: 100% Negroamaro
Rating: 9.5
Price: $13.99
Where to Buy: Liner & Elsen
Short Review: Smooth and surprising; great price

This wine is made just east of Gallipoli, Puglia, and it's truly complex. I'm using Karen McNeil's definition of complex: It's not complex because it has so many different components; it's complex like an artwork that you can't get out of your head but you don't know why. At first whiff, Cantine Rosa Del Golfo's Scaliere remains illusive. Memories of childhood somehow arise, and all descriptions fall short. This wine is excellent. It is interesting; more so than many $30-$40 wines. The nose has floral and citrus notes. There's dried date, cinnamon, cloves, and cooked blueberries. In the mouth, the wine's texture, structure, and finish are most present: medium bodied, soft as velvet, long finish. I love this wine, and the price is perfect.

epicuro 2006 Salice Salentino Riserva DOC

Grape: 80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera
Rating: 8
Price: $5.99
Where to Buy: Trader Joe's
Short Review: Simple wine for complex people

I hesitate to review cheap, mass-produced wines from Trader Joe’s because I question their consistency in terms of flavor. However, I reviewed this wine back in 2008 (when it was $3.99) and I liked it then. It’s a good wine for 5.99, but I think it would be a great wine for 3.99. It's simple but stolid. The score is so high because of the price point (price and quality both get 50% in my wine rating system). Nose of raspberry and cherry pie. In the mouth, it's rich with a smooth, chalky/chocolaty finish; full bodied. Great with any marinara sauce or pizza.


Admin said…
I don't know these wines in particular, but I agree on your appreciation for wines from Puglia.

Especially Negroamaro wines are great; much taste, low on tannines and often nicely priced.

Interesting blog by the way.
Hi Erwin,

Do you have a favorite Negroamaro? I'm a huge fan of the Graticciaia, but Eloquenzia by Azienda Monaci is an excellent everyday drinking wine.

Admin said…
Hi Mattie,

Recently I tasted the Negro Negro by Cantine Due Palme, that's a nice one, much taste.

Also Negroamaro from Lizzano and Salento Fregi Barocchi Rosso are great and easy to drink.

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll keep an eye out.

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