Prestigious (and Affordable) Old World Wines
Oltremé Susumaniello 2015 Tenute Rubino
Region: Puglia, Italy
Awards: Tre Bicchieri, Gambero Rosso
This outstanding wine just won one of the most sought-after wine awards in Italy, the 2017 Gambero Rosso Tre Biccheri. Gambero Rosso is an Italian food and wine magazine. The magazine’s rankings are indicted by the number of glasses (bicchieri) awarded to a wine. The highest rating is three glasses (Tre Bicchieri), which indicates an “extraordinary wine”. The ratings are based upon blind tasting by independent experts. The magazine chooses a small number of wines from each of Italy’s wine regions. Oltremé Susumaniello 2015 Tenute Rubino is one of the winner’s from Puglia (or Apulia, in Italian).
Susumaniello is a rarely used, ancient grape grown in the province of Brindisi in the southern Italian region of Puglia.
Color: Intense ruby red with purple tinges
Bouquet: Fragrant fresh notes of red fruit: cherries, pomegranate, raspberries, and mature plums
Taste: Rounded with minerals and pleasantly soft tannins
Characteristics: A balanced and velvety wine, with an elegant texture; its harmony and persistence are truly enchanting. Its varietal notes stand out clearly.
Food pairing: It goes well with savory dishes such as stuffed eggplant and peppers, pasta with tomato sauce, and risotto with porcini mushrooms. It pairs well with cold cuts, semi-cured cheeses and grilled meats.
Domaine Lafage Tessellae
Varietals: 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre
Region: Roussillon, France
Awards: 90 points, Wine Advocate (2014)
From Eric Solomon, one of the United States’ top three wine importers. He has been importing old world wines to the United States for over 30 years, and has been working with Domaine Lafage for over a decade. The last three vintages of Tessellae have been awarded with at least 90 points from the Wine Advocate. It is a classic Côtes du Roussillon ‘GSM’ (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend). The grapes are organically grown on the estate and harvested by hand. Tessellae is fermented in 100% cement tanks. This method has been used for centuries and is regaining popularity. The main benefit of using cement tanks is regulating the temperature of the grape. The grape also doesn’t absorb tannins from cement, as it does with wood, allowing the fruit to showcase itself separately.
Color: Dark ruby-red color with youthful purple hues, lighter on the rim
Bouquet: Vibrant dark-red berry and dark raspberry fruit melded with herbs
Taste: Jammy with juicy raspberry and dark fruit and supple tannins; finishes with notes of red fruit, spices, and herbs
Characteristics: Medium-bodied, vibrant acidity, well-balanced
Food Pairing: meats, charcuterie, lamb and duck in particular, rich stews