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ruggero di bardoSusumaniello (pronounced su su man yell oo) is a relatively unknown grape in the U.S. Its origins are uncertain but today It is found primarily in Puglia, in the heel of Italy’s boot, where it has long been used as a blending grape, although some producers are now making it as a stand alone varietal.  That you can find it for $10 on a supermarket shelf but search for it in vain at good wine shops is a testimony to some weird gravitational quantum functions in the wormhole that distributes wine to us.

It is in fact an interesting wine for the price and worth a trip to Trader Joe’s to secure a bottle before the wormhole closes.

Inky in the glass, the stewed black and red berry aromas mix with smoky chocolate, herbal notes, and a background burnt rubber note for a odd but complex nose.

Soft, slightly viscous, and medium-bodied in the mouth it has good acidity and broad, mellow tannins introducing a short finish, with a sour note from exposed acidity giving the wine a rustic edge.

Although ripe and rich it is not excessively sweet. As far as I can tell, this is a Trader Joe’s exclusive owned by the big Italian import company D’Aquino.

A mellow personality with a somber bearing pairing well with Please Read the Letter by Allison Krause and Robert Plant

Score: 86

Price: $10 at Trader Joe’s

Alc.: 14.5%