A GOOD VINTAGE, A GOOD REVIEW !
Many people wrote about our “Nero di Velluto”: among them we like to underline the wonderful words of Giorgia Benvenuto’s review. In 2006 she published it on www.lucianopignataro.it, in the area “Don’t miss these Apulian wines”.
I think the description she did is very interesting and precise. A good article that invites us to learn about our most famous Negroamaro wine.
We were longing to publish it.
2003 Nero di Velluto Salento Igt
16th August 2006
Negroamaro once more: a generous grape variety as tough as the land where it was born.
Pure Negroamaro: what else could Feudi di Guagnano and its Salentino oenologist produce? This grape variety has been made into wine and reinterpreted hundreds times: in every winery, in every bottle, in every sip. And, in accordance with this interpretation, it has been “limited”, softened, almost tamed by a wine-making process that was thought up among the rows of vines, made carefully, as much as someone looking after patiently his own little creature every day, as long as it is “independent”. As long as it needn’t to be accompanied and can evolve and express its temper. A late harvest at the end of September is the beginning of this wine’s story: a careful and thorough picking of the ripest grape bunches in the rows of vines, whose berries are covered up by a thin layer of bloom, thick and smooth to the touch, that gives back a shade of such a black that reminds one of the depth of velvet’s glare. These berries will be placed in little wooden boxes to soften for about 30 days and then they will be softly crushed: the juice will ferment at a controlled temperature and will age in French oak barriques for 12 months before being bottled. It’s not always very easy to get enough grapes, and above all quality grapes worthy of becoming Nero di Velluto; therefore, the careful clusters selection makes the amount meagre. The result is, and it’s not difficult to understand it, a limited production, numbered bottles and magnums.
The complexity of the harvest, the wine-making process and, even, the bottling expresses itself all at once, when the bottle is opened and it seems that the wine longed to come out and to be drunk. An explosion of intense flavours almost envelop your nose when the cork is removed. Less aged bottles’ strong and bright ruby-red strikes the sight. The ageing gives this wine some orange-coloured highlights, that are typical both the ageing and the grape variety. When aged the bursting vanilla, ripe fruits and dried flowers hints (among them plum preserve, blackberry and violet stand out) change to more spiced hints with some clear impressions of cacao and coffee prevailing on the fruit, and with a slightly bitter liquorice finish. The undoubted taste balance, where the softness is as smooth as the velvet on skin, slowly gives its place to the grape variety’s strength expressing itself with round and definite tannin. It discloses the not inconsiderable alcoholic content’s strong warmth (14°) implying the fierce heat of the Salentino sun and finally leaves us a long and intense aftertaste reminding all those aromas that our smell had chosen. Would you like any advice on matching this wine? For its intensity, complexity and even some strong emotional sensations: the book “Seta” by Alessandro Baricco.