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  • “Best value.” Wine Spectator on Cantele Salice Salentino…

    Here’s what Wine Spectator Italian editor Alison Napjus has to say about the Cantele Salice Salentino, a wine she has included in her “best value” round ups.

    Cantele Salice Salentino
    89 points
    BEST VALUE

    Juicy flavors of ripe wild strawberry and red licorice mark the start to this light-to medium-bodied red, with supple tannins lending some structure and weight. Savory accents of garrigue, loamy earth and star anise echo on the finish.

    The wine has also been included by Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish in his Memorial Day recommendations for summer grilling.

    Click here for his blog post.

  • Varius, a new blend: Susumaniello and Negroamaro

    After a two-year hiatus, we are celebrating the return of Varius, a wine that represents an on-going “experiment” in the Cantele portfolio. As its name reveals, it is a “variation” of traditional Pugliese blends. We had taken a break from this label because it was time. Starting in 1999, the blend has included Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Montepulciano. In one of the last blends, Merlot took the place of Montepulciano. And the final “variation” was a wine made solely from Merlot grapes.

    In this new version from the 2016 vintage, Varius is a blend of Negroamaro, the king of Pugliese grapes, and Susumaniello, a variety that originated in the Balkans. Its name comes from the fact that it was once considered a workhorse grape, a somarello or donkey in Italian, thanks to the density of the grape bunches as they ripen. Today, of course, growers keep the yields low but the name has stuck. It’s been a few years that we have been thinking about working with this historic Salento grape variety from, which has been only recently revived by winemakers here. It has a very small berry, with a high concentration of polyphenols and anthocyanins. Rich in color and low in acidity, it’s the ideal partner for Negroamaro (with its lighter color and higher level of acidity). The result is a fresh and youthful wine, aged in stainless steel, with good structure and approachability.

    Continue reading Varius, a new blend: Susumaniello and Negroamaro

  • Rohesia: rosè without compromise

    The first vintage of Rohesia has been such a thrill for us. And now, this new rosé — vinified from the same grapes used for our flagship wine, Teresa Manara Negroamaro — is in its second vintage. But it’s already become a wine that stands out from the crowd.

    The second incarnation has been even more positively received than the previous. It’s thanks to this wine’s strong identity and the fact that it doesn’t compromise on any level: It’s a wine whose integrity has never been shaped by fleeting trends of the marketplace.

    The 2014 harvest was challenging. Because of summer rains that affected all of Italy, the weather conditions delivered a wine whose color is less intense than in the previous vintage. Vinification of a rosé wine always requires a technical approach that takes into account the variables of any given vintage. Maceration of the grape must before fermentation takes place at a low temperature. It continues until the desired color is achieved. In the case of Rohesia, this generally takes up to 24 hours. But the process is also closely linked to the desired tannic balance. As a result, the amount of time in which the must is left in contact with the skins varies from vintage to vintage as does the final color of the wine.

    Continue reading Rohesia: rosè without compromise