1962. That’s when 19 growers formed a co-op for the purpose of earning a living; a means of survival. Today, the Cantine di San Marzano includes almost 1,200 wine growing farmers that collectively produce almost 2 dozen different wines in the regions surrounding Salento in the Province of Apulia.
The tiny strip of land that is Apulia, lies between the Adriatic and Ionian seas and can often be a harsh climate battered by the famous Sirocco winds. But it is this mercurial environment that has made Apulia a rich fertile farm land which boast bountiful produce markets in almost every town. The rich, red dirt ubiquitous through the region creates the foundation for much of the Apulian diet; vegetables, pasta and wine.
The region’s wines often rely on indigenous grapes; specifically Primitivo and Negroamaro. These find their home in the DOC wine Salice di Salentino, but the wine we’re discussing today is 100% Negroamaro grown in the area of Salento on sloped vineyards that sit approximately 100 meters above sea level.
The 2015 Cantine di San Marzano “Talo” Negroamaro is a gorgeous purple color. Vinified in stainless steel at controlled temperatures, the wine ages for 6 months in French oak barrels.
In the glass, this deep purple wine gives off lovely aromas of flowers, wild black fruits and spices. It’s as attractive to smell as it is to look at. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and very suave. There is nothing rustic about this polished red. Smooth and round with no rough edges, the black plum flavors carry spice and olive notes throughout. More tannic than you might expect, there is some “grip” here but only enough to add structure to the wine. Paired well with a variety of foods such as grilled chicken, pecorino cheese, roasted vegetables and tomato basil salad. There’s nothing to complain about here and it’s an incredibly good value. Potential case purchase. 90 points, about $15.
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