We were excited to find this wine, Contrade Negroamaro, for this month, January. It's a fresh, balanced red wine ideal for both the colder weather and heartier fare that goes with the chillier nights. Pairs well with a couch, blazing fireplace and bowl game or Netflix? You bet. Contrade hails from the Falvo family, owners of Masseria Li Veli winery in Puglia, Italy, who called on their long-standing winemaking and marketing expertise and credibility, along with vine grower relationships, to make this wine-- and make it so very well.
This Contrade is made from 100% Negroamaro, the most representative red grape of Salento, the sub-region of Puglia where the Contrade vineyards are located. Its wines are full-bodied and rich, elegant and with the typical soft tannins of the Italian "classics". The word Negroamaro is a Latin-Greek contamination which emphasizes the color of the grape: niger from Latin "black" and mavros from Greek "dark".
The name Contrade (Latin for 'parcel of land') refers to vineyards bordered by olive trees, stone walls or other natural features that become identifiable by their name. The Contrade label design is a restyled graphic of the rose window of one of the most popular baroque churches of Lecce, Basilica di Santa Croce.
The nose is very attractive with notes of red fruits (cherry, plum), mint and lavender. In the mouth, the forward fruits flourish: sweet red plum, blackberry, blueberry jam. Soft tannins sashay next to mineral and spice notes, white pepper, cocoa, earth. Impeccably balanced, the finish is soft but rich as the fruit-filled echoes of the palate reverberate.