Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2004 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva Apulia Southeastern Italy

2004 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva Apulia Southeastern Italy
Suggested retail price $9-$11
Distributed by Vias Imports in NYC

Think about Puglia (or Apulia), southeastern Italy, the heel of the boot. A very warm, dry place with arid soils, long flat plains and a few gentle low rolling hills here and there. Surrounded by the Mediteranean Sea on roughly 3/4 of the all superficie, Apulia is a peaceful place influenced by the Sea, the hot wind from the south, its long history and the intriguing mix of cultures.

Cantele is located in Salice Salentino DOC, a wine area located in northern part of the Lecce province which represents the most southern part of Puglia, the tip of the heel. Salice Salentino is a region that encompasses vineyards, olive trees surrounding scattered farms and a few old watchtowers (some from the medieval time). The main grape varieties are Negro Amaro for red and rose wines, and Malvaisia for the whites.

I could write a lot about the producer, but Cantele has a fantastic website full of info and it is worth having a look at it, at www.cantele.it

2004 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva is roughly a blend of 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nera, from vineyards located next the village of Guagnano. After de-stemming, crushing, maceration of 6-7 days and fermentation, the wine was transferred to barriques where it matured for at least six months, before bottling.

The robe is quite intense, dark ruby red. The expressive nose exposes earthy aromas of ripe red fruits, spices and cigar box, woody notes. In the mouth, it is fruity, quite full yet balanced by the tannins and great acidity to keep it fresh, almost crisp, with ripe red and dark fruit. Smooth and rounded in the finish, with gentle vanilla oaky notes, it is pretty easy going and perfect for simple dish and picnic.

Serve it with pasta and meat sauce, red meats including lamb. Ideal with medium to hard cheese.


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  1. I just got home from wonderful dinner that served this wine. It was fabulous! How do I order it? We had a table of eight and we all want a case!

  2. You can always order it on line at www.HeightsChateau.com, where I work as the Wine Buyer and Wine Manager. We offer 17% on a case of 12 bottles and 15% on mixed case of 12 bottles. And delivery are free pretty much everywhere in the 5 boroughs (for delivery above $50). Or give a phone call at the store at 1-718-330-0963 to place your order and talk about other wines.


    LeDom du Vin