Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tormaresca Neprica, 2006 ($10)

Puglia, Italy

I would have never thought to try this wine if it hadn’t been for attending the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.  I met a distributor and emailed him after the event to ask if they had any other red blends that I should try.  After finding this wine in my local grocery store Publix (FL), I was just happy to find it on the shelf, given the many wines people tell me about yet difficult to find.  (It may not be in all Publix stores, try to request it.)

I’ve only been to Italy once and it made my Italian mom happy, as I was able to join my parents there and meet mom’s relatives in Ravenna.  Her aunt is 90+, still going strong and since my visit, I often make her homemade Limoncello recipe.  Being raised in the USA and never really learning Italian or studying the geography of the country, here is what I can share in regards to this unique wine.

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.  When I first poured this full bodied blend it showed off its deep ruby red color hinting to a surprise of aromas and tastes soon to follow. Dried fruits, leather and a hint of earthiness from its aromas led me to believe I was about to sample a very dry wine.  I was wrong!  Up front flavors of currants, blackberry and plum reminded me of a hearty Cab or spicy Zin. On the finish: hints of licorice, black pepper and oak (even though its unoaked) rounded out this pleasant new find for me.

The wine is actually a blend of 3 grapes (40% Negromaro, 30% Primitivo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon).  After some research on 2 of the unknown grapes (to me), I found that Primitivo is actually a twin to the Zinfandel varietal. Negromaro is a varietal predominately grown in the Puglia region with full fruit characters and good tannic structure. You won’t be disappointed with this wine especially if you pair it with a bolognaise sauce or baked ziti which is what I had it with.  Chin, chin!


  1. This wine is also very good with grilled meats. It will stand up well and enhance the flavors.

  2. I just had this bottle over the weekend! What a fantastic wine at a great price. Excellent review!


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