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Masseria Surani Ares Rosso 2015
The ideal match to steak, red meat, roasts and rich casseroles.
Blend: 80% Primitivo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
In 2012 the Tommasi family expanded its holdings in the south of Italy, purchasing 198 acres in the region of Puglia. The new property, known as Masseria Surani, is situated in the Salento Peninsula, the southeasternmost part of Italy. The term ‘Masseria’ refers to a traditional farm house in the countryside of Puglia. These houses were typically built out of sandstone and surrounded by high walls in order to protect its residents from attacks by Turkish pirates in the 16th century. Once a complex of agricultural buildings, Masseria Surani has been newly refurbished with vinification and maturation facilities. It is located in Manduria, one of the finest zones for the cultivation of the Primitivo grape, and is surrounded by 136 acres of organically farmed vineyards planted using the high-density, low-yielding Guyot training system. Manduria was first colonized in 700 BC by the ancient Greeks, providing the inspiration for Tommasi’s new range – all the wines are named after Greek gods.
Well-suited to the production of concentrated, fruity and spicy red varieties, Puglia is one of Italy’s warmest, most southerly regions. Its entire eastern side is one long coastline bordering the Adriatic Sea. About half way down, the region becomes the Salento Peninsula. This peninsula, bordered by water on three sides, receives moist, nighttime, sea breezes that bring a welcome cooling effect to the region, where little rain creates a challenging environment for its vines. In fact, the region is named for the Italian expression, “a pluvia,” meaning “lack of rain.”
Puglia’s Mediterranean climate and iron-rich, calcareous soils support the indigenous Primitivo, Negroamaro and Nero di Troia. Primitivo produces an inky, spicy, brambly and ripe red wine whose best expression comes from Manduria. Nero di Troia produces tannic, rustic reds from Castel del Monte DOC while Negroamaro, typically blended with Malvasia nera, plays a large part in may blends made throughout the peninsula.
Puglia produces a small amount of white wines as well, predominantly made of the fruity, Trebbiano Toscano, or light, Bombino bianco grapes.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.