Salice Salentino, the delicious red of Puglia on the heel of Italy’s boot, is almost a can’t miss wine. The Torre Saracena 2006 Reserva is an excellent example. It has some appealing age, considering it is only recently in this market, and offers characteristic flavors of dried sour cherries, dried candied orange peel, and woodsy spices. I found some of this leftover several days after opening the bottle, and it had become rather like aged balsamic vinegar – not the really expensive 60-year-old but a good 25-year-old. The dried cherry flavors were stronger, and there was an appealing sexiness, not unlike sweat just before it becomes perspiration. Try this as an example of what a few years in your cellar could do for a southern Italian red – only the winery has done the hard work for you. This is from the very good Vinicola Resta line. I give it 2 out of 3 stars (“Excellent”) and a “Great Value” label – it leads my list of Recession Buster picks in this week’s Washington Post Food section, and it deserves wider availability.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Wagshal’s Market. Available in Maryland at Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at the Italian Store in Arlington.
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