1. LAMIRO IGT SALENTO 2015 - TENUTE RUBINO, PUGLIA; $291.54/CASE ($24.30/BTL)
Ever heard of a grape called Bianco d'Alessano? Neither had we till we tried this fantastic white wine from Tenute Rubino at this years Vinitaly wine fair. Owner Luigi Rubino has dedicated his new line, The Riscoperte ('the rediscoveries'), to rare indigenous varietals grown on hillside sites. The higher elevation gives us a new perspective on the types of wine Puglia is able to produce. Contrary to the ultra fruity, ripe, and full bodied wines most expect from Puglia, the Lamiro is much more elegant in style with notes of stone fruit, herbs, and almonds. A perfect match for seafood dishes and yet perfectly suited to drinking on its own. The wine geek in us is very, very happy with this find.
This year at Vinitaly we were on the hunt for full bodied crown pleasing value wines and this Malvasia was the perfect fit. Tenute Rubino does wonders with the tide and true Pugliese varietals, so we knew this would be a welcome addition to the Cavinona selection. The grape, Malvasia, is actually grown all of the Italian peninsula, but in Puglia it takes on a much richer profile than its counterparts in the north. Often Northern Italian Malvasia based wines are dominated by floral notes, but due to the hotter climate in Puglia, the notes of apples, peaches, and apricots really come to the forefront. We had BBQs and patio hangs in mind when we chose to add this to our portfolio. There's still plenty of time to enjoy a glass of this on the back deck!
This Negroamaro from Tenute Rubino was another one of our cheap and cheerful wine finds at Vinitaly this year. Puglia is probably one of the best regions for value full bodied reds, so we went straight to the source. This red is packed with notes of ripe blueberry, blackberry, black cherry and pomegranate, accompanied by the variety’s typical spicy notes. On the palate, the Negroamaro is soft and harmonic, with sweet tannins that yield a pleasant and persistent finish. The best part is that this wine is super food friendly. Think matches savoury dishes like orecchiette with meatballs, ravioli alla bolognese, grilled veal chops, roasted lamb shanks and semi-cured cheeses. If you're looking for a new house wine, consider adding this Negroamaro to your rotation!
4. GARSUN COSTE DELLA SESIA DOC 2013 - LA PREVOSTURA, PIEMONTE; $322.22/CASE ($27.69/BTL)
If you know us at all, you'll be quite familiar with out penchant for the wines of Norther Piemonte, or Alto Piemonte, as it's often referred to. Unlike the Nebbiolo from Southern Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco, Langhe), the wines from the North are grown at higher altitudes, in more acidic rich soils, and permit blending with local varietals like Vespolina and Croatina. The end result is a wine that's a little lighter, leaner, and more rustic when compared to their Southern neighbours, yet just as perfumed and complex as a top Barolo, and some claim, even more age worthy. The Garsun, made my Alto Piemonte genius Cristiano Garella, is his version of a more casual easy drinking northern Piemonte wine. Once to try this though, you'll realize there's nothing casual about it. It's that good.