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Salice Salentino Riserva

The village folk still call it Niuru Maru: Negroamaro, meaning bitter black (red).

In another era, Negroamaro was grown solely to ship to the north of Italy where the colder climate made it challenging to obtain the desired color and alcohol levels in the wines they produced. But in recent decades, more and more Salento wineries have looked to the variety as one of the most noble expressions of Pugliese viticulture.

Thanks to its vibrant acidity and its wonderful balance of fruit and earth flavors, the popularity of Negramaro only continues to grow — among winemakers and wine lovers alike.

Cantele’s barrique-aged Teresa Manara Negroamaro is widely considered to be a benchmark for the category and the winery’s Salice Salentino, also made using a selection of top fruit, is once its most critically acclaimed wines in the U.S. today. Cantele also uses Negroamaro to make youthful, fresh wine and a rosé, both of which are also favorites among our American friends.

CLASSIFICATION D.O.C. Salice Salentino.
GRAPE VARIETY Negroamaro.
PRODUCTION AREA Guagnano (Le).
TRAINING Pruned-spur cordon (4,500 plants per ha).
HARVEST End of September.
MACERATION Skin contact for approximately 10 days.
VINIFICATION Fermentation is carried out at 25-26° C.
AGING In old barriques for 6 months.
AGING POTENTIAL Ready to drink. Evolve for 3-4 years.
SERVE AT 18° C. (64° F.).

Tasting Notes

COLOR: Streaks of garnet giving way to intense ruby red.

NOSE: Candied fruits and spices that evolve into clean underbrush, tea, and amber notes.

PALATE: Enhanced by notes of red flowers, the aromas return on the palate transported by confident but not overbearing alcohol. The tannins and fresh acidity work in counterpoint to create a balanced, soft wine.

Wine Art

Just like domino tiles, the rich colors of the Cantele labels line up like a work of art by Andy Warhol.

But while Warhol liked to depict the same subject with different colors, here are the actual labels in an image that celebrates the Cantele line of wines, a style that like to call “POP.”

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