Tormaresca Neprica 2011

I am a cat. Stealth is my weapon. And waiting. Wait. Wait. Wait. A precautionary approach to avoid pouncing too soon at the influence of marketing. Aware of my psychology, examining my behavior, I advance. Collect enough information to make a successful purchase decision. Short, quick movements, pounce, grab the bottle and head to checkout.

tormaresca-neprica-2011On a recent evening in the wine shop, hard-wired for the hunt, I stopped to sniff the air for a bargain bottle. Thought I saw something flutter on the bottle rack: Tomaresca Neprica 2011. Eyes locked on the prey, I come in for a closer look.

Glad I did.

Tomaresca Neprica 2011 is a wine offering astonishing quality for price (I paid ~ $10.00 in Massachusetts) and great testimony that southern Italy deserves your attention when seeking out interesting, delicious, inexpensive wines of character and personality.

A project of the Antinori family begun in 1998, Tormaresca vineyards are located in Italy’s Puglia region, the “heel” of the Italian boot. (NOTE, for readers not familiar with the Antinori family wine dynasty: so important are the Antinori to Italian wine history, tradition, etc., that your Italian wine journey might well begin there with a bit of research.)

Produced from a blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon (NePriCa), grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is fined for eight months in steel tanks and four additional months in bottle.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:
Balanced tones of bright red fruit and dark, black cherry surrounded by violet perfume. Plump on the palate, love the somewhat viscous mouth-feel. Black cherry notes take just a bit of prominence as the wine gets air, with additional dimension gained from emerging scents of savory herb. Tannins are soft and in just the right order so as to not interrupt the great way this wine feels on the palate. Finishes with good density of flavor and generous length.

Food Pairing Suggestions:
This wine is an obvious winner served with red meat and roasts. That said, after tasting several bottles with a wide variety of foods, Tomaresca Neprica is simply a great partner to just about every kind of dish I introduce it to: all manner of pasta / sauces; grilled or roasted sausages; mashed potatoes with mascarpone, greasy olive oil roasted potatoes; risotto; grilled vegetables and assorted crostini; eggplant parmigiana; chicken with black olives served on couscous; spaghetti with langostini in spicy red sauce; grilled fish; panino of boiled meats, au jus and spicy sauce … you get the idea 🙂


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Joel Mack has worked for a celebrated importer / distributor of Italian wines and continues to study the wines and winemaking of Italy. He has advised many restaurants in making their Italian wine list selections and has provided training to restaurant staff. Today, Joel conducts wine classes and leads specialized private and corporate tastings of Italian wines. Joel carried out his higher education at a highly regarded College of Music and continues to extend an artistic point of view to Italian wine, balanced with factual information about wine, its nature and identity. By day, he applies his time to collaborative software technology. Joel can be contacted at joel at vintrospective dot com.

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