Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte 2004
Other Red Blends from Southern Italy, Italy
70% Nero di Troia, 30% Montepulciano.
Dense garnet red in hue; complex nose offering ripe fruit, leather, tobacco leaf, and spice; dry and austere but very generous in the mouth, displaying an absolutely magisterial structure and a lingering, well-balanced finish.
The weight and elegance of this wine makes it the perfect companion to fine roasts, large game, meats in hearty sauces, and aged cheeses. Serve at cool room temperature after allowing to breathe.
The Wine Advocate - "The estate's top-of-the-line 2004 Il Falcone Riserva is 70% Nero di Troia and 30% Montepulciano that spent 12 months in French oak. In this vintage, the Falcone Riserva is awesome. Layers of earthiness, new leather, plums, black cherries and herbs emerge in stunning style as this full-bodied, richly-textured wine shows off its qualities. The wine possesses more than enough density to balance the tannins all the way through to the long finish, where a blast of melted road tar provides the final exclamation point. Simply put, this is a compelling wine from Rivera and certainly among the handful of truly important wines being made today in Puglia. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019. "
International Wine Cellar - "A blend of 70% Uva di Troia and 30% Montepulciano. Inky red color. Inviting nose combines black cherry, licorice, plum, mocha and an intense floral element. Broad and sweet, with more primary fruit and less of the tobacco and leather notes of the 2001 and 2000 vintages; not quite as large-scaled but there's no shortage of size here. Finishes with smooth tannins and excellent length."
The Rivera estate is located in Apulia near the town of Andria. Rivera is in the heart of the Castel del Monte DOC, which takes its name from the splendid castle built by Frederick The Second at the beginning of the 13th century. This area is known for the characteristic plateau of tufaceous and calcareous soil named 'Murge,' and the vine has flourished here since the times of Magna Grecia. Centuries of experimentation and selection have developed indigenous varieties that are perfectly suited to the local terroir and hot weather: Nero di Troia, Montepulciano, Aglianico, Bombino and Pampanuto.
Sebastiano de Corato founded Azienda Vinicola Rivera in the early 1950s. His son Carlo continued focusing on Nero di Troia and Montepulciano for the reds but also started experimenting with non-indigenous white grapes such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon. A long period of testing the adaptability of such Northern varieties to torrid Apulia was necessary, but the venture ultimately led to very successful results. The inclusion of such varietals in the Castel del Monte DOC represented an important step for Rivera and for Apulian viticulture as a whole. Carlo's sons, Sebastiano, and recently his brother Marco, have joined their father in the management of the estate. View all Rivera Wines
About Southern ItalyView a map of Southern Italy wineries Abruzzi, Puglia, & Campania
AbruzziKind of central, kind of southern, this region is best known for it's wine, Montapulciano d'Abruzzi – this wine is made from the Montelpulciano grape, unlike Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano, made with a Sangiovese clone in the region of Montelpuliciano. The Montelpulciano grape is happiest here in Abruzzi and the wine is rustic, yet soft and often fruity. The best part is that it's also good value and super food-friendly.
PugliaSometimes called Apuglia outside of Italy, the area is known for making wine from the Zinfandel-related Primitivo variety. It sits on the Adriatic coast, facing Greece, and enjoys a Mediterranean climate. A productive wine region, Puglia makes a lot of wine, some of it not so high quality. Luckily, the good wine is exported and is of excellent value.
CampaniaPerhaps better known for the city of Naples than the wine produced, Campania does have a couple of wines worth recognition. First, the white known as Greco di Tufo – an indigenous variety, Greco produces white wine that is dry, with a subtle nutty flavor. The best-known red here is Taurasi, made from the Aglianico grape, producing a wine of distinct color and flavor, with aromas of tar and leather.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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