This wine comes from Apulia, the stiletto bootheel along the Adriatic coast in the south of Italy. Within Apulia, Salice Salentino is a plateau fairly well known for good, ageworthy wines; in the past, I've had some enjoyable Salice Salentinos from Taurino. This is the first time I've had a wine from Agricole Vallone, but I recognize it as a reputable producer. As the label notes, the grapes are mainly Negro Amaro with a small amount of Malvasia Nera.
The color is a brilliant deep ruby with little or no browning. The nose is very aromatic with a spicy intensity--red and black cherries, cinnamon and licorice. Like many traditionally made Italian wines, it has a slight leathery volatility, but I find this quite pleasant. This wine is clearly mature and ready to roar, but I don't see it fading any time soon. The palate delivers what the nose promises with good fruit concentration on the mid-palate. Silky smooth with racy acidity and ripe fruit flavors that linger long. I love it; can't wait to match it with a big bowl of spicy penne arrabbiata.
Agricole Vallone's Rosso Riserva ordinarily sells for $12.99, a price I would consider quite reasonable for the quality. I found this bottle on the closeout shelves at Hardings Markets for $4.79. Having tasted it, I'm heading back to pick up more.