Friday, November 4, 2022

A Beautiful Red Wine From Italy's Bootheel

The Torrevento estate in Apulia dates back to 1400, but it wasn't a winery then.  It was a Benedictine monastery. Winemaking took root in 1948, when Francesco Liantonio bought Torrevento and its vineyards. The old monastery now houses the cellar and casks. The Torrevento winemaking philosophy concerns staying out of the way and letting the terroirs of the rugged Murgia and Salento regions speak for themselves. 

The Nero di Troia grape (or Uva di Troia) thrives on the calcareous and rocky soils of Torrevento's vineyards. They have made a full-varietal wine from this grape since 1992. The wine is aged in steel tanks for eight months, then for a year in oak. Alcohol hits 13.5% abv and the wine sells for about $25. 

This 2016 Torrevento Vigne Pedale Riserva Castel del Monte DOCG is tinted medium dark ruby. The nose is somewhat muted upon opening, but shows dark fruit - blackberry, plum - laced with an earthy minerality and a whiff of smoke. The palate has the dark fruit and cherries up front, and the sip is smooth. Spices and herbs liven up the taste, but it does not seem over-oaked. The tannins are well integrated and provide ample food-friendliness without getting in the way of the mouthfeel. The finish is medium-long and the minerals play through to the end.

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