Much uncertainty looms over the wine world currently as members of the wine industry gather in Washington this week to protest the potential 100% tariff on French sparkling wines. As of October 18, there is already a 25% tariff on all imported European wines and the impact is already being felt on American businesses, large and small. In the short term, out of stocks on items are already popping up as importers hold off on putting containers in the water, perhaps hoping to weather the storm and see the tariffs rescinded. Long term, the effect could result in consumers seeking alternative beverage options if prices skyrocket on certain items. That’s where we come in. By frequenting a small, speciality wine store like ours you can be sure that we are working hard to find value alternatives for any wines that may get out of hand in price. It hasn’t happened yet so don’t panic; if it does rest assured we will have suitable replacements. Why wine and food is targeted in a trade dispute over airplanes and technology is mystifying to me, but I do know it can and will affect the wine industry in some ways. This includes myself, a wine professional, and you, the professional wine lover. To that end, I say I love European wines and will continue to carry them… and so I take you to the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia, to share Cosimo Taurino’s 2010 Notarpanaro Rosso.

Comprised of 100% Negroamaro from a single plot, the 2010 Notarpanaro perfectly expresses the unique terroir of the Puglia region with its extremely rocky, iron rich soils and the maritime influence of the Ionian and Adriatic seas. The wine ages for two years in concrete vats and up to a year further in oak barriques. Now 10 years into its life, Cosimo Taurino’s Notarpanaro has grown into a perfectly charming, complex (in a good way), and well adjusted adult. Very perfumed, with aromas of tobacco, clove, anise, and a medley of red fruits coming to mind. A ruby, burnt orange hue dances in the glass. The palate is quite rich and integrated, with a medium to full body that unfolds with layers of black raspberry, cherry, and dried herbs. The wine is fairly dry on the finish with smooth tannins showing a splash of earthy bitterness. Quite frankly, the stuff is delicious and will pair gorgeously with aged cheeses, braised meats, and hearty pasta dishes. Delightfully different yet enticingly familiar, with nearly unmatched quality versus value.

On the topic of quality versus value, this wine ranks up there with another wine I love and have written about before at the same price, La Rioja Alta’s Vina Alberdi. Cosimo Taurino’s 2010 Negroamaro retails for $19.99 a bottle and 10% discounts start at six bottle purchases. Let me know if I can set any aside for you!

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for upcoming tasting announcements!


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