saliceA Trader Joe’s exclusive, the Salice Salentino is one of my go-to, everyday wines and has been for years. A simple but pleasing nose of ripe cherries encased in subtle loam and a hint of smoke. The medium-bodied, supple palate shows dried cherries and a slight characteristic bitterness on the finish. The flavors lack depth but have good intensity and focus. The soft tannins come on early with a bit more grip than most six dollar wines.

Salice Salentino is a small commune in Apulia, in southeast Italy. The wine is produced from the Negroamaro grape with a small percentage of Malvasia Nera added to soften the rusticity.

The Aglianico 2011 was also quite drinkable but less satisfying. Plum and dusty earth accented by mild herbal notes give the nose some interest. On the the palate, it’s full and fruity with a medium plus body. The texture is soft upfront but the tannins come on quickly and are persistant. The finish is full of flavor but is quite sour which disappoints. Both wines have a rustic character

Score: Salice Salentino:  85      Aglianico: 83

Price: Both $6

Alc: Both 13%