For your holiday consideration: Wine Spectator 90 POINTS for Amativo

We can’t share the entire review “15 Expressive Reds from Southern Italy” (because it’s behind the Wine Spectator paywall).

But we can go ahead and share this snippet from the October 26 article (published online):

Cantele 2014 Amativo

A balanced, medium-bodied red, offering rich notes of tarry smoke and grilled herb well-meshed with dried black currant and ground anise flavors. Lightly mouthwatering and accessible, with a chewy finish. Drink now through 2022. 100 cases imported.

Alison Napjus
Wine Spectator

#PoetryIn[E]Motion: the neck of a bottle of Amativo is like a woman’s nape

cantele amativo best puglia wine

The neck of a bottle of Amativo is like a woman’s nape: it’s a channel that delivers suspended fragrances.

With closed eyes, you can perceive blackberry along the line that changes color until it turns into ginger, a slight intuition that reveals itself to be as dark as juniper.

And then, a warm flourish that betrays its preference for the heart of red and black currants.

Antonio Galloni’s notes on Amativo, a retrospective

amativo best puglia blend

The following are scores and tasting notes by one of the world’s leading authorities on Italian wine and one of our favorite wine writers, Antonio Galloni.

We highly recommend Antonio’s subscription site, Vinous: it’s our number-one resource for info on Italian wines today and for dispatches and harvest notes from Italy (where he travels often). The site’s forum is also a wonderful destination for lively and vibrant discussion and a great place to interact with collectors and Italian wine aficionados.

Technical notes for Amativo appear below…

Amativo 2007
90 points

The 2007 Amativo is 60% Primitivo and 40% Negroamaro that spent 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new. A well-delineated, articulate bouquet leads to racy dark fruit, sweet spices and herbs, all of which are framed by soft, supple tannins. The wine’s sense of inner balance carries through to the harmonious finish. This is a superb effort from Cantele. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2015.

Amativo 2006
90 points

Cantele’s 2006 Amativo (Negroamaro, Primitivo) features the aromatic profile of Negroamaro wedded to the intensity of fruit typical of Primitivo. Sweet herbs, roasted coffee beans, licorice, leather and spices are just some of the nuances that emerge from this delicious, sumptuous and highly pleasing red. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2012.

Amativo 2004
91 points

The 2004 Amativo (60% Primitivo, 40% Negroamaro) was aged for one year in oak, 25% of which was new. It is an explosive, layered wine with plenty of character in its notes of flowers, mint, blackberries, and sweet toasted oak. This sumptuous, full-bodied red offers notable length and should continue to provide highly pleasurable drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2014.



GRAPE VARIETY: 60% Primitivo, 40% Negroamaro.

PRODUCTION AREA: Guagnano (LE), Sava (TA), San Pietro Vernotico (BR)

TRAINING: Head-trained (alberello), (5,000 plants per hectare).

HARVEST: Primitivo in early September, Negroamaro in late September.

VINIFICATION: After being destemmed and crushed, the must is macerated with skin contact for 12-15 days during which délestage is employed on a daily basis. Fermentation is carried out at 26-28° C.

AGING: Once malolactic fermentation is completed, the wine is aged in barrique for approximately 12 months.

AGING POTENTIAL: When vinified as a monovarietal wine, Negroamaro will surprise and reward the collector over 4-6 years.

COLOR: Inexpugnable ruby red, offering the eyes a preview of the wines complex structure, flavors, and aromas.

NOSE: Notes of rose and violet emerge in a slow, long-lasting progression, giving way to wild fruit, dried fig, preserves, and vanilla.

PALATE: The same aromatic equilibrium reappears in the mouth, releasing delicate progressions of fruit and spice. The rich, balanced flavor of this wine’s components give it its distinctive imprint. And its extreme delicacy closes with ample, persistent flavors in the finish.

PAIRING: Well aged ripe cheeses, smoked and spicy cured meats. Intensely flavored meat dishes, ideally complex in their flavor profiles. Ass and horse are among the winemaker’s favorite pairings as are meat-based first courses. This is a wine (as strange as it may sound) that doesn’t mind the company of a good cigar.


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