Sunday, April 11, 2010

Agricole Vallone Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva Vereto, 2000

Ribollito, a robust stew made of whatever vegetables you have on hand (onions, peppers, celery, squash, tomatoes) plus white beans and a healthy dose of greens (collard, mustard, kale, spinach) for body and flavor, is one of my favorite vegetable dishes. And to accompany it, I like a hearty Italian red--full bodied but with good acid to match the qualities of the ribollito. Barbera Piemonte would be good, but this Salice Salentino, an old favorite, worked even better.

This wine has reached a beautiful level of maturity. It's a deep ruby red color with little or no browning. The bouquet is flush with sweet cherries, black licorice and rose petals--beautiful. Full bodied and full fruited, this is a big wine...but not too big for ribollito. Extended contact with the skins has given this wine a lush texture and black licorice/mineral-tinged flavors. The finish is ripe, long and complex.

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