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Taurino Salice Salentino 2010
The excellence of these wines is owed to the indigenious varietals, Negro Amaro and Malvasia Nera. Taurino recognized that these brawny varietals, with a little bit of respect and care in vineyard and cellar, had great potential. Yields in the field were drastically reduced and new equipment and modern fermentation techniques were implemented.
Never content with the status quo, Cosimo experimented. Enamored with the density of the Veneto's famous Recioto della Valpolicella Amarone he decided to find out what would happen if Negro-Amaro and Malvasia Nera were treated in the same way. Hence, Patriglione which has become the flagship wine of the estate. This wine and the others reflect the intensity that the Taurinos have demonstrated in achieving their goal: The production of Puglian wines to be admired and respected.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean. Naturally, most Italian regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige as examples, create favorable conditions for cool-climate varieties, while the Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering its variable terrain and conditions, it's still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany and Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the whites, Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. The list goes on.
Full-bodied and brimming with dark fruit, Negroamaro actually doesn’t taste much like what its name indicates, “bitter and black.” Full and smooth on the palate, Negroamaro doesn’t actually have a lot of bitter tannins. Instead it is typically brimming with sweet fruit like baked plum, raspberry jam and ripe red cherry and is often accented with sweet aromas like cinnamon and anise.
This dark-skinned southern Italian grape variety is found on the eastern half of the Salento peninsula, which is the backside of Italy’s “boot heel” and part of the Puglia region. Negroamaro forms the base (along with Malvasia nera and Primitivo) of the most well known wine of the area, Salice Salentino. It can also produce single varietal reds as well as some impressive aromatic and spicy rosé wines.
Try one with an easy pizza night or instead of a Chianti with pasta.