~ Castel del Monte dominates the landscape from which Bolonero is sourced ~

Castel del Monte is a 13th century fortress that is perched on a hill near the Apulian commune of Andria.  It was built by Frederick II in the 13th century after the land was gifted from his mother, Constance of Sicily.  Today, the vineyards around the Castle comprise the Castel del Monte DOC.

What is Castel del Monte?

Castel del Monte was established as a DOC in 1971 and today covers about 775 acres of vineyards.  Although single varietal wines are permitted within the DOC, most of the wines are blends. International grapes may be used; however the majority of wines are based in Aglianico and the local, quirky,  Uva di Troia.  Bolonero is no exception.

I’ll admit, when I first spied this new arrival to Gary’s, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  I hadn’t heard of Castel del Monte but immediately figured it was a southern Italian wine.   As I began to research Bolonero and its producer, Torrevento, of course an interesting story emerged.

Bolonero Cantina

~ The aging caves at Torrevento are dug into the Puglian limestone ~

It was 1913 when Franceso Liantonio embarked upon the SS Hamburg en route to New York at the age of 16.  His goal?  To make his fortune.   For 10 years Francesco toiled on the streets of America, peddling ice on foot to all manner of shops and restaurants. By 1923, he amassed enough savings to return to his native Apulia and begin growing grapes and olives.

Today, a new Francesco is in charge.  The grandson of the founder has been at the helm of Torrevento since 1989.  He has set out to revitalize vineyards, improve quality and construct new cellars beneath the limestone caves.  At just over 500 acres, Torrevento is now the largest producer in the DOC.


~ Nero di Troia at Torrevento is an integral component in Bolonero ~

Francesco’s efforts have paid dramatic dividends.  The subject of today’s article is the first Tre Bicchieri award winner for the winery.

The 2019 Torrevento Bolonero is an unspecified blend of predominantly Nero di Troia followed by Aglianico.  In the glass, the wine is medium ruby in color throughout.  The very attractive nose hints at black plums, wild berries, spices and faint tobacco notes.  On the palate, the wine is fresh and juicy with a solid core of black plum flavor and spice notes.  It’s snappy and fresh.  Medium bodied, it developed a bit more weight with aeration than it possessed upon opening.  Bolonero spends 8 months in stainless steel and 6 months in bottle before release.  Would I buy a case?  Likely not – but a 6 pack is a worthy “Cellar Sentinel”.   87 points and a wonderful value at $15.   Find this wine & Support Tuscan Vines.


~ A very pretty wine that is easy to match with food or enjoy alone. Bolonero is a legit cellar defender ~

Pair Bolonero with my wonderful Pasta Apulia Recipe.


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