the main character: 2019 Masseria Li Veli Susumaniello
If you enjoy Italian wines, then maybe you have had the priviledge of opening a bottle of this delicate gem. Italian wine is very popular, but it’s the less known wines that create the most lasting impressions. Southern Italy, well as the remainder of Italy has so much to offer the surrounding world. Southern Italy is located within the area that resembles a heel and a toe on the map, or more known as the “boot.” Regions such as Calabria, where I spent some time, Sicily, Campania, and Puglia, which is where we will be concentrating on.
While enjoying my time in Italy there was one common denominator, besides the delicious food. While touring I soon realized no region is the same when it comes to food and wine, especially how they make their wines. Southern Italy provided exquisite wines at a more affordable price than the Northern area of Italy. Currently the region of Puglia is striving to be the next largest wine producer in Italy. It is here in the region of Puglia we will find Salento. Within Salento is located the winery of Masseria Li Veli, the main character of today’s article.
the wine maker
At first glance, in my personal opinion Masseria Li Veli Winery has an alluring view. The pictures of the structure produce the image of an inviting medieval castle. The structure of the winery alone is a piece of art work. There is a backstory and reason for this of course. It is because the winery was built on the ruins of a previous medieval building!
According to their history only minor traces remain which have been incorporated into the current structure of the winery. In 1999 the Falvo family purchased and renovated the property in Apulia. Tradition combined with over 40 years of experience in the wine business, they gave birth to Masseria Li Veli. There is so much deep history locked within this winery. I’d love to unpack it for us, but this article would end reading like a text book.
Located beyond the main entrance of the of the “wine castle,” as I call it, is the barrel cellar. Each one of their wines are made here. The capacity of this cellar is 10,000 hectoliters, which translates into 264172.1 United States liquid gallons! Impressive to say the least. The wine is divided into steel vats and close to 400 French oak barriques. Barriques are a barrel or cask.
The term barrique usually refers to a particular size and shape of a barrel. Barrels are an essential element for every wine maker. Wine geek moment for you: The barrique originated in Bordeaux, and it traditionally holds around 59 gallons. All this to say, it is the most commonly used type of wine barrel. The size of a barrel is important to the wine maker, because it tells them how much oak influence it will infuse the wine with.
Although I have never set foot on the winery’s grounds, it is on my list of visits. They produce a wide variety of wines, but the Susumaniello Salento IGT is today’s topic of choice. This particular wine is produced from indigenous varietals and cultivated by traditional methods. If you’re searching for more history and story behind this wine read the following statement: “We have chosen a Greek “Askos” (=Decanter) as a symbol of the wine making, a practice that in Puglia was started by the ancient Greeks.” It doesn’t get anymore historical than that.
Are you a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon drinker? You will absolutely delight in this wine if Napa Cabernet is one of your palate pleasers. Napa Valley cabernet is one of may favorites and the 2019 Masseria Li Veli Susumaniello defineitly falls within the same zone. Easy to drink and take in with astounding fruit forward flavors.
Deep ruby color will be found at the center of your glass. As you move out toward the rim of the glass you will see a lighter shade of garnet. Looking even closer at the wine you may even encounter a little orange kissing the edge of the glass. You won’t miss the intensity of this wine when you allow it to sit in your glass. The aromas are bold and intoxicating.
On the nose I gathered ripe red cherries, raspberries, strawberries, plum, blackberries, black currants, vanilla, oak, and some faint tobacco. Wine tasting is like taking on the work of a detective. You can’t rush the process of discovery. Questions need to be asked and clues need to be sought out. The more you investigate the better you will become at it.
The flavors of this wine are bold and fruit forward. I picked up medium tannin within my mouth and it seems to be medium dry, but not like paint thinner. The acidity is medium and the ripe red cherries, strawberries, oak, plum and blackberries really shine through.
A wine like this deserves to be paired with rich cuisine options. Here are three suggestions or options to pair this incredible wine with. Beef. Consider pairing this with a fatty, marbled steak on the grill. Want to go a little more low-key? Pair it with a hand-made hamburger off the grill or flat top. Pasta. Scratch-made red sauce with pasta is always a deliverable route. What about paste with an Alfredo sauce? Lamb. Oven roasted lamb or grilled lamb shanks will compliment the wine.
The average price for the 2019 Masseria Li Veli Susumaniello will be around $35.00 a bottle and 100% on point and worth it. Plan a little staycation to Italy next weekend. Open a bottle of 2019 Masseria Li Veli Susumaniello, sit back, and be prepared to be swept away to Southern Italy. You will either land in the current or the history of the country while sipping this little beauty.
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