Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Agricole Vallone Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva Vereto, 2000

This is an old favorite, and I'm drinking my way through a case all too quickly. Serving an ancho/beef brisket/squash chile for guests, I thought immediately of the Alderbrook Zinfandel (below) and this Salice Salentino. I was looking for ripe fruit to counter the spices plus intensity and complexity to match those of ancho chile.

This wine is a deep, dark garnet, nearly opaque. It's friendlier than the Zinfandel with sweet fruit and licorice coating the palate from front to back. Dark cherries, blackberries--very concentrated and rich. The ripe fruit charm is deceptive because this wine has every bit as much power and intensity as the Alderbrook and less alcoholic heat. The finish is long and rich. Although it has been in bottle three years longer than the Alderbrook, this wine is much younger in its development.

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