Salice Salentino is a region in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot that grows mostly Negro Amaro, a red grape that has multiple personalities – some of the best rosé is made with this grape, yet it also yields rich, dark red wine! Ancient negro amaro vines are hand harvested from the red clay soils, and like Amarone, some grapes are sent to the drying racks to increase flavour concentration. With the addition of Malvasia Nera to soften the harsh tannins, the combination of appassimento and fresh fruit are aged in French oak barriques, then finished in stainless steel to preserve freshness. What you get is a rich, thick, full bodied wine that is most assuredly able to warm you from the inside out with aromas and flavours of dried cherries and plums, along with hints of vanilla, classic negro amaro spices and shoe polish!
Graceland is a small family-owned vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The dry heat with the intense winds coming off the Cape keep the grapes healthy and disease free; as such, many a great Cabernet are made here. This wine has intense dark colour, with a typical nose of cassis, menthol, and hints of smoke. The palate continues with blackcurrant spice, cassis and smoke with smooth tannins and well-balanced structure. This is well made Cabernet that is perfect for those rich beef or lamb stews that might be on the menu this winter season.
From the Gil Family Estates, the Bodegas Tridente winery, located in the Castilla y Leon territory in Northwest Spain, makes this massive tempranillo from old vines. The grapes are small (old vines will eventually give smaller and smaller berries and/or yields), and give off concentrated flavours of black cherry and black berry. It’s also aged in French oak for 15 months, so it has huge aromas and flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg spice, along with dark chocolate. At a whopping 16%abv, it’s almost like drinking port, and sure to warm you up nicely!