Puglian Blends

2007 L’Astore
75% Aglianico, 25% Petite Verdot
$NA, $25 in Italy
This is remarkably complex on the nose, with perfumed floral tones over lightly peppery black fruits all framed with hints of leather and soil. Beautifully textured in the mouth with bright, juicy acids and powerful but refined tannins. Even with this power this remains rather light on its feet with gorgeous black fruits, spices and finesse on the finish. 94pts

Antica Enotria
2007 Dieci Ottobre
Aglianico, Nero di Troia 50/50
Olive and black currant jam aromas are underpinned by smoky, spicy, soil-tinged notes. This is massive and deep-smelling. Beautifully textured, with very present tannins lending a really firm texture yet perfectly balanced by the intensity of the precise black fruits. Nicely herbal-edged in the mouth and onto the lightly spicy finish, which remains tense, poised and succulent.  93pts

La Marchese
2009 Cacc’ e Mmitte

Very seductively aromatic with some wood notes lending a cedary base on which violet, spiced plum, and wild cherry fruits build. The high acid entry is followed by a wave of tannins, though the intensely aromatic fruit handles it well. This is powerful and yet so precise, with juicy wild cherry fruit topping the formidable structure through the long finish. 92pts

2007 Rarum
Negroamaro/ Malvasia Nera 50/50
Tarry on the nose with noticeable VA; hugely spicy with notes of cloves and mace accenting the dried cherry and date fruit. Sweet on entry yet well balanced with an elegant mid-palae and long, complex finish of dried fruit and spice tones. 91pts

2008 Metiusco Rosso Passito
25% Malvasia Nera, 50% Negroamaro, 20% Montepulciano, 5% Primitivo
Sweet-smelling with nicely complex aromas of almond, coffee, fig, cherry and leather. A touch sweet in the mouth but really juicy with nice tannic cut across the palate that prevents the spicy, lightly jammy strawberry and cherry fruit from becoming cloying. The finish is long, complex and spiced. This looks like it can improve with age. 91pts

Masseria l’Astore
2005 L’Argentieri

70% Negroamaro, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
$NA, $18 in Italy
Insidious green herbal notes underlie the spicy, lead pencil and cinnamon-flecked black fruit tones. Big, smooth and polished with a gentle bitterness on entry that leads to a mid-palate full of black currant and bitter cherry fruit. The texture in the mouth is very fine though drying tannins appear on the finish. Ageworthy? 90pts

2009 Metiusco Salento Rosso

25% Malvasia Nera, 50% Negroamaro, 20% Montepulciano, 5% Primitivo
Aromatic if medicinal on the nose, with notes of beet root and tomato leaf over light red fruits. Quite herbal. Powerful in the mouth with intense dark red fruits and peppery overtones all topped with a touch of licorice. A lot of youthful wine. 90pts

Cantine Ferri
2008 Ebrius

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Primitivo
$NA, $8 in Italy
Lightly minty on the nose with spicy, herbal-toned black currant fruit. Nice on entry with a fine bed of tannins that extends through the moderately long finish. The tannins give this a nicely austere feel and the fruit builds nicely in the mouth with both black and red berry tones. Elegant, well balanced and structured. 90pts

Cantine Ferri
2008 Rubeo
Uva di Troia/Bombino Nero
Spicy on the nose with nicely complex fruit tones. Smooth and fruity in the mouth with a nice fresh feel and good depth to the dark fruit. This has nice cut in the mouth with a touch of rosé on the moderately long finish that firms up considerably. 89pts

Antiche Aziende Canosine
2007 Aufidus

65% Uva di Troia, 35% Montepulciano
Clear and clean on the nose with light stemmy spice and a touch of mineral charcoal over fresh wild berry fruits. Bright in the mouth with edgy acids supporting rich black fruits. The balance here is very attractive, keeping this refreshing and easy to drink. 89pts

Terre Federiciane
2007 delle Vigne

70% Nero di Troia, 30% Montepulciano
Spicy on the nose with lots of fruit but some raw wood tones as well. This turns really smoky with air. Round with wood sweetness lending a softness on the palate. This is packed with fruit and has huge acids keeping everything fresh but finishes a bit short. Some time will help the well managed wood to integrate here. 89pts