MASSERIA LI VELI Susumaniello 2018

(Salento, Apulia, Italy) $19

Susumaniello is an ancient indigenous grape variety in the southern Italian region of Apulia (or Puglia, pronounced POOL-ya, as it’s written in Italian). If you’ve never had it, join the club. This was a first for me. (The variety was nearly extinct until Masseria Li Veli began to rescue it.) Wow, what a gem. Generous and juicy with waves of dark cherry pie flavors, it tastes like a great zinfandel—only better. An ethereal wine for pasta because it’s got loads of both richness and freshness, and is mouthfilling but not ponderous. (Hide the label, and make your favorite wine drinking partner try to guess what it is). The name susumaniello means “little donkey” in the local dialect, a reference to the large bunches that hang from the vines like the heavy loads carried by donkeys in days past. (14.5% abv)

90 points KM

Available at Saratoga Wine Exchange

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