The 2015 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva is a great opportunity to taste Negroamaro in its purest form. One of the most planted and prolific varietals of Puglia, when the grape is in the right hands, it can yield wines that over-deliver in a big way. That certainly is the case here!
One of the added bonuses of this wine is that this is the current release. Yep, the Cantele family age this one for a full 60 months (in oak and in bottle) before they release it. The resulting wine has definitely benefited from the extended maturation. When you taste it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
2015 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva
90 points – Wine Spectator | Perfectly aged and drinking like a dream!
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Cantele is a third generation, family owned and operated estate. After World War II, when most of the Puglian population was moving north to work in the factories of Torino and Milano, Giovanni Battista Cantele moved his family to the Salento Peninsula. He and his wife Teresa Manara fell in love with the natural beauty of the region, and they knew they wanted to raise their family here. In 1979, Giovanni and his two sons founded Cantele, and the rest is history. Today, the estate is one of the most respected in the region.
The Cantele’s goal from the get-go was to produce more elegant and refined wines to elevate the Puglian region, one that is often known for its mass-produced bulk wines. After tasting this one last week with my sales rep, I’d say mission accomplished. 100% Negroamaro from Cantele’s top parcels, this is one of Cantele’s most critically acclaimed wines, and it is widely recognized as one of the benchmark Negroamaros. Fermented in stainless steel, the wine ages in older oak barrels for three years before being bottled and aged an additional two years.
So what’s it like? Being that many of you might not be familiar with the Negroamaro grape, I often compare it to rich and spicy California Red Zinfandel. This wine boasts a deep and dark color and a nose loaded with notes of ripe cherry, blackberry, baked plum, and dried thyme. The palate is rather full-bodied but quite smooth and fine grained with creamy and supple tannins. If you need more assurance that this stuff is good, Wine Spectator named it a “Smart Buy,” saying this “fresh, medium-bodied red shows a lovely mix of ripe red and black fruit, currant, raspberry and blackberry flavors, with light, creamy tannins and hints of iron and herb.”
One of great Italian reds to pair with eggplant or chicken parm or anything with tomato sauce for that matter, it also goes down very easy without food. And it’s not going to turn to vinegar anytime soon either. Drink this hearty and robust red now and over the next 5+ years. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in the AVL!
Owner/Operator at Table Wine