The last bottle of wine I shared on my blog, in an empties post, was an absolute cracker of a red wine from a friend so when they got me this for my birthday I had really high hopes it would turn out to be just as fantastic.
This time they got a bottle of wine from an Italian town called Squinzano where a lot of the wine is rich and certainly more hearty and heavy than some on the market (partly caused by the 70% Negroamaro and 30% Sangiovese grape blend being aged on French oak for 24 months). After looking at the label and doing a little research I found out this wine got a gold award at the 2013 Concours Mondial Bruxelles which lifted expectations further.
A few issues did arise on getting into the bottle though as the cork was possibly the longest I have ever seen. It went from the very top of the bottle to just where the protective plastic stops (near the gold label) and as a fairly amatuer wine drinker it is safe to say I did not have a corkscrew of that length close to hand – certainly something to consider!
Hearty and heavy it most certainly is. The aromas coming from the glass on pouring were certainly very strong and earthy and rather knocked me back a little but the taste was no stronger than the smell during the initial few sips.
It is a very smooth wine and despite being 14% it does not catch on the throat or burn it lile some red wines tend to but the flavours still have the chance to whizz around your palette with each sip.
The longer you leave it in the glass the more pungent the deep fruit flavours with a hint of herbs, spices and woodiness become – though many describe it as a leather scent and taste which I could not pick up personally.
It certainly is an aqquired taste and I could not recommend it if people like a light or more fruity wine but I could see it working well served with certain dishes that can handle a strong flavour to battle with. If offered this in a restaurant or at a friends house I would politely decline in the future but only because I struggled to enjoy a full glass of it in one sitting and instead found myself pouring small amounts to not become too overwhelmed by the aromas and flavours of this increasingly aging wine.