Posted by: tomciocco | October 5, 2011

A ROSE’ FROM PUGLIA

Of all the many styles of wine that Italy can claim, many even into antiquity, the dry rose` is not one of them. Sure, now, there is probably at least one basic I.G.T. rose` produced in nearly every region in the country made from every red grape from Nebbiolo to Nero d’Avola, but this is a phenomenon of the last 20 years or so in most cases.

The region of Puglia however, in Italy’s southeast corner, is one of the nation’s exceptions when it comes to having a tradition for making rose` wines, particularly in the Salento in the region’s south. And though this wine is from San Severo in northern Puglia, not coincidentally, the variety used in both cases is the same, and that is the great Negroamaro.

Negroamaro (neh gro ah MAH ro) is grown all over Puglia, and is the the star in many elegant,complex, and slightly austere reds that are blended with plusher, fruitier varieties like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Malvasia di Brindisi to name just a couple. As it turns out, Negroamaro is superb material, all by itself, for making rose`, or as they are called in Italy, rosato (roh ZAH to).

Suspecting that this wine would be anything but a breezy fruit punch of a pink drink (and it was confirmed), I picked a pretty bold menu of bucatini pasta with a sauce of cauliflower, green pepper, oregano, and raisins with pecorino cheese, and then a main course of pan-fried sirloin strips with rosemary, a little thyme, and Marsala, with a side of broccoli rabe spiked with red pepper flakes and garlic. It was perhaps only slightly outmatched by the beef, but only slightly, and it was a fantastic partner with everything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alberto Longo Negroamaro Puglia I.G.T. “Donnadele” 2010

Well-smoked salmon color. Fascinating nose of cherry, strawberry, fine tea, delicate sweet asian spice, wild rose, and a touch of smoke. The wine erupts into the mouth with a surprisingly big, well structured, “sweet” and plump, but still decidedly dry, clean, and well balanced character with notes of chocolate, mixed nuts, honeycomb, pink peaches, and especially cornelian cherries, all neatly tied up by a fine and elegant acidity. Finishes with a long tautly bittersweet character. An unusual but still very appealing wine. 

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