Posts tagged ‘Puglia’

July 17, 2017

Castel Del Monte Tormaresca Trentangeli, 2014

Puglia, down in the boot, produces some lively wine, without the heft of Tuscany (meaning price tag).  We are very fortunate that here in BC the Liquor Board stocks an enormously appealing and not too expensive red which is not only delectable but organic and can be sourced across the province.


This is an ideal red for the patio, for the BBQ, for sipping and eating and socializing.  It’s not top of the game, it’s no Brunello, on the palate it lacks, but the finish is all love, joyously generous, and in a group you can drink three bottles for under $75.  That is, unless you order it in a restaurant, where it will run you an exorbitant $55 or more.


It’s in Smithers, it’s in Stewart; it’s in Kaslo it’s in Fruitvale.  I think the Italians would approve.  And I believe it’s worth more, all things considered, than the 89 points Gismondi gave it.


Price: $19.50 at BC Liquor before taxes.


Market Liquidity: I think if socialist filmmaker Ken Loach gave his seal of approval to wine he’d give this a gold star.

July 20, 2016

Natalino Del Prete “Nataly” Primitivo, 2012

Drinking this wine is like a find at Winners.  The 86 karat Spoonmaker’s Diamond in the Topkapi Palace was, the tale goes, found by a fisherman, traded to a jeweler as “a worthless piece of glass” for three spoons.  This could be Puglia’s three spoons red.  And organic to boot. No pun intended.

Natalino Del Prete Nataly Primitivo

Ever see that dog at the park that’s well behaved and cute as a button and a mish mash of breeds that no one can quite make out?  That’s this wine, the wine that could never win awards, that would never suit Robert Parker’s 92 point oaky palate, that is magnificent in its uniqueness but bears no resemblance to the finest France has on offer.  It is raw, earthy, loamy, fruit and acid and berry and flower and a touch of Rooibos.  It was, truthfully, not that wonderful a sipper, a little too uneven, striking in its pungency.  But here’s the kicker: It was stunningly food friendly.  Superlative with food.  We had zucchini parmesan (hey, there’s so much zucchini at the farmer’s markets right now, what else can you do with the stuff?) and it was a colossal success, it stood up to tomatoes and parmesan a dream.  It was steadfast in its strength of character and flavour, unwavering in its uniqueness, and simply a treat to drink.


It is not a wine for beginners, not an introduction to Italian reds, or even Puglia (or Sicily).  It is rustic, sensual and far from generic.  If there is an argument for terroir, you can find it here.  Absolutely one of the most fascinating, intriguing and captivating wines I’ve drunk in a long time.


Price: A not too price friendly $35 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar.


Market Liquidity: Out of time, like a Ramon Navarro movie from the silent era.

September 18, 2014

Verso Rosso Salento, 2013

Local reviewer Anthony Gismondi wrote: “Wow. Delicious soft round juicy red…colour is dark, the nose spicy, the palate southern Italian rustic but with smoky, silky textures.” A little tight with his points, he gave it 89.

This is my take: Wow. BC Liquor has shelves full of mediocre Italian reds, woebegone whites, and at prices that are an insult to patrons. And here, under $20, is this humble blend from the boot, just begging to be shared with friends. It should be the house red at our umpteen nouveau pizza spots and faux-Italian trattorias that dot the trendy shopping streets. Astonishingly good value, a treat to drink. A little shy on the finish.


Price: $19.99 at BCL.


Market Liquidity: If you can find it, find it.