One of my philosophies in wine drinking is quite simply “Life is too short to drink the same wine twice.” Now there are a few exceptions. One is when you are bringing a bottle to a tasting or dinner where the purpose is to pour wine for other geeks. Another is when you buy several bottles and cellar them for future enjoyment.
Vintage variation is a third reason to drink a familiar wine and was ultimately my intention for buying this Copertino. I’d originally had the 1999 vintage in 2005 and was sold on the rustic reds of the Salento region. Copertino is known for rich smooth reds made from Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes.
Since this bottle was going on 10 years of bottle age I was slightly hesitant to give it a try but my appreciation of the 1999 vintage solidified my investment. The store employee also said he looked it up and it was still drinking well before offering me a part time job at the store.
Brick red color with primary aromas of barnyard, tar, stewed red fruit and spice. In the mouth it was still showing good fruit with structure and tannins. The age was pretty obvious as it was extremely smooth and graceful leaving any rusticity only to be found in its aroma and flavor. The finish was long and dirty in a good way.
This bottle totally reawakened my desire for southern Italian reds. It seems like too many I’ve had recently are more new world than old with only ripe to overripe black fruit and vanilla to show. These older bottles from smaller producers still have the charm and distinctive Italian earthiness I expect from Salento. I’d buy this one again…to show friends of course.