Saturday, January 7, 2017

Negroamaro of Salice Salentino with Leone de Castris

This month our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group (#ItalianFWT) explores coastal regions in Italy. Much of Italy's regions are bordering water so it's easy to find a region to talk about today. That's what makes Italy so unique in that you can travel to many a region, north to south, and be able to experience mountains, beaches and seas and the inland plains. According to wikipedia, Italy has over 4,700 miles of coastline touching the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

Puglia, located on the heel of the boot, is one of these regions with a long coastline touching the Adriatic Sea. It seems to have been the hot spot lately in terms of travel. I've seen many of folks venturing there and it has even peaked my interest as well for my next journey overseas to Italy when it happens. One can only wish, but with a 6 month old there are no promises yet.

About Leone de Castris
I recently tasted a wine from the Leone de Castris winery located in Puglia, specifically a village in Salento known as Salice Salentino. Leone de Castris was founded in 1665 when Duke Oronzo discovered the terroir in Salento and sold his property in Spain to get himself grounded in Puglia. The winery had always sold off it's grapes from the beginning of the 19th century until they began to bottle their own in 1925. The winery is actually best known for their rose' known as Five Roses, but they produce an array of wines including the 2013 Maiana Rosso I'm sharing today. The winery produces about 2.5 million bottles annually.
Piazza Plebiscito in Salice Salentino Puglia
Piazza Plebiscito in Salice Salentino by Andrea Donato Alemanno
Negroamaro is a native grape of Puglia that is deep in color with good weight, rich fruit and can have medium tannins. The name, negroamaro, has origins are tied to both the Latins and Greeks. You'll find this grape primarily produced within the Salice Salentino DOC. There are some great values out there as with many Italian wines, but not all are quality produced wines so ask for assistance when picking out a bottle so you can taste the best.

2013 Leone de Castris Maiana Rosso Salice SalentinoI tasted the 2013 Leone de Castris Maiana Salice Salentino Rosso DOC that is made of 90% negroamaro and 10% malvasia nera. It's fermented in stainless and aged in large oak for 6 months. I loved the ripe dark fruits and found it to be rather well balanced with acidity. Full bodied. A great value. I actually enjoyed it with a slight chill. SRP $12-14. ABV 13.5%.

More with our ItalianFWT group
Here's a preview of what's to come this Saturday January 7th. Join us for a live Twitter chat at #ItalianFWT 11am Est about Coastal White and Red Wines, Foods and Travel around Italy's long coastline. If you'd like to be part of the group there is still time. Email directly at
Enofylz Wine Blog - A Ligurian Red Blend: 2015 Azienda Agricola Terre di Levante Rosso Liguria

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