Even with the dollar continuing to tank against the Euro, it's still (relatively) easy to find tasty wine under the $10 bench-mark. Wines from places like Italy, Spain, Argentina and less from places like my home state of California. The selection of wine which makes its way here from these wonderful locales is much more reliable in terms of being high quality, low price than the inventory from virtually any other locale, especially at lower price points which is what the QPR (quality, price, ratio) scale is all about and of course it doesn't hurt to have wines with mellifluous names attached to them. Gives a sense of credibility compared to a label that says "gnarly-head", but that's just my opinion.
Reviewed Wine: Tormaresca 2007 Neprica Red Blend
First Swirl: I pour about two ounces into my glass and give a few good swirls on the counter top, (having not completely mastered that in hand swirl) pondering the core against the white copy (recycled of course) paper it appears to be like a carmine colored velvet drape covering half the four footed tub at the Ritz Carlton, it has a deep ruby core and lightly fleeting to a garnet colored rim. Okay I'm impressed so far.
First Sniff: Into the glass my fat (half) Irish nose goes and what unfolds elements of black cherry, currant and a hint of licorice form lovely inviting aromas. I decanted (highly recommended) for at least an hour to promote the unfolding of its many layers.
First Sip: After an hour of decanting the wine showed its generosity in a delicate spiciness with gobs of black cherry fruit and notes of licorice and just a touch of earthiness mid-palate. The mouth feel is savory with good to wonderful dark fruit flavors. The acidity adds balance and degree of tannic structure in support of its heft, leading to the long finish.
Where it's from: The region of Puglia is in southern Italy and located in what’s called the “heel of the Italian boot.” Tormaresca means “tower by the sea” and is named for the many towers that line the coast of the Adriatic sea in this region, paints quite a pretty picture don't you think?
Price and ABV: Alcohol: 13% not the twelve many wine snobs believe this is the magic number, they contend that any wine over this percentage is unbalanced only produced in that style to receive high scores from a certain Mr. RP. Did I mention this wine is only $7.99 and widely distributed. I picked mine up at Costco here in San Diego and it can also be found at Trader Joe's in near the same price range.
Composition: Okay so you want to know what's in it? Here ya go, it's a red blend of two local (Italian) grape varieties, Negroamaro (40%) and Primitivo [similar to Zinfandel] (30%) and one more well known grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) This slightly nontraditional blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon which makes me wonder why more Southern Italian winemakers are not convinced of Cabernet's place among more native varietals. But maybe now they are starting to catch on to the idea.
Other wines of note: Tormaresca Negroamaro Masseria Maime Salento Igt 2003 and the Tormaresca Castel del Monte Bocca di Lupo 2004 which I have not reviewed but I look forward to making some room in my cellar to accommodate these other gems. Just click on the links above to get the Snooth Ranking.
With/With Out Food: This is a remarkably pair-able wine, that will go with a majority of grilled meats and many other Italian style dishes. It's also a nice wine just open and quaff at your leisure.Other voices: In case you needed to hear another opinion well here you go, the wonderful folks over at Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave this wine 90 points and this is what their reviewer said, "Well made and crafted with food pairing in mind or to drink as a stand alone."
Cuvée Corner Wine Blog Score: Hey point seekers here's my score if your interested, I gave this wine a solid 91 points. The price point really brought the score up for this wine, other wise a solid 88 points if it would have had a higher price point. I always consider price as part of the overall score of any wine.
My Recommendation: Buy yourself a case, this is your everyday drinker. A wonderful wine for the money and with this price point it is my QPR winner in every way! Not sure how a wine this good can be made for so little, but why question it, just accept this wonderful bounty while it last. Oh did I mention that you should DECANT this wine before imbibing? I think so but I wasn't sure (and yes I'm a bit of wise-guy). Until next time cheers everyone!