This wine plunges me into the world of a Hemingway novel, a world without truth or value, ruled by disillusionment and violence where a man must bear wounds in silence and seek some small dignity even in defeat. Only direct sensation, a cold shower, good sex, a wine of character can momentarily provide respite from that struggle to discover grace in the face of a malicious creation. But even in that world there is redemption. Prey and predator are one; in the flash of a matador’s sword there can be small victories.
When a wine provokes such imaginings is it the wine that is speaking or is it a stray hallucination set off by wayward flavor molecules that strike the amygdala at an unguarded moment? I don’t know, but I’m thankful they happen.
This wine is bold and savory, exploding with flavor, subtle without trying to be, and obstinately resists sweetness or ornament—like a Hemingway sentence.
In appearance it is unfiltered and a little cloudy, the copper notes beginning to show at the rim indicate its age. Dried cherries, fig, and loam, share flavor space with lovely aromas of marjoram that make this wine very complex and distinctive. The deep, dried fruit and spice flavors erupt in the mid-palate and give way to bitter herbs and restrained, slightly sandy tannins on the medium length, flavorful finish. Rustic but well balanced and structured. Drinking this wine is like conversing with a wizened elder with a complex personality and bitter edge who has no intention of making you feel good. But you come away enlivened and enlightened.
This is a wine with personality, drink it up.
The Negroamaro grape is grown primarily in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot”. The Tormaresca brand is owned by the Antinori family and benefits from their reputation for quality.
Price: $31Follow @DwightFurrow