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salice salentinoI’m revisiting an old friend I haven’t tasted in several years. I’ve always considered this Trader Joe’s exclusive to be a competently made wine although it has acquired a bit too much chocolate for my taste, at least in this vintage. Salice Salentino is a wine region in Puglia,  in the heel of the Italian boot, a formerly bulk wine region that is improving its quality. The main grape is Negroamaro which forms 80% of the blend in this wine. (The other 20% is Malvasia Nero).

Black cherry aromas with prominent mocha and a hint of smoke, the medium body is smooth at mid-palate with more richness and firm acidity than most wines at this price. The tannins have presence but stay in the background on the medium length finish that shows too much sourness as it fades.

Although it’s among the better $5 wines available, it’s not exactly pulsing with personality. But music that’s soft and chill like this nouveau, late-night R&B from Toro Y Moi adds the richness the wine is striving for.

Score: 83

Price: $5 (Purchase at Trader Joe’s)

Alc: 13%