An essential part of what I do is selecting wines at each property (instead of going to trade shows to play "let's make a deal!") and although part of my overall due diligence, there are also delightful surprises along the way. In my search for expressive examples of native grape varietals, I identified Cantine Teanum in Northern Puglia as a possibly interesting producer in an area where the main native red grape is the very tannic Nero di Troia. Working with such a grape requires both great insight and artistry in a wine maker and a fun surprise was finding that in Donato Giuliani at the cantina. Every wine that I tasted was a true expression of the native varietals and the local terroir with its high minerality from its volcanic soils.
Putting together a wine portfolio is also very complicated, however, and although there are very interesting red wines in the area, my initial selection of Teanum wines were an interesting white blend of Bombino and Fiano, a Falanghina, and a very expressive Nero di Troia Rose.
“Favugne” Falanghina 2018
Aromas are of white flowers and honey. Flavors include honeydew melon with hints of lemon. There is medium body, good balance and acidity, and a fully saturated minerally finish.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, branzino, swordfish, clams, seafood salads and pasta dishes, veal, pork, chicken, Asian pork and chicken stir frys, pasta salads, green salads, and mild cheeses.
"Alta” Bombino/Fiano 2018
This has been a fun selection as everyone who tastes it says "this is really interesting!" The wine is a blend of 80% Bombino and 20% Fiano and it has aromas of heirloom yellow roses, camellia, mild green apples, and wildflower honey. Flavors include honeydew melon and pear along with interesting hints of strawberries and white peaches. The medium body flows smoothly across your palate and evolves into a refreshing fully saturated mouthfeel and a full finish. There is good balance and perfect acidity.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, swordfish, branzino, steamed clams, seafood pasta and salads, salade nicoise, veal, pork, chicken, roast turkey, noodles with light cream sauces, Pad Thai, mild curries, and creamy cheeses such as Brie or Robuchon.
“Favugne” Nero di Troia Rose 2018
Aromas are of strawberries, watermelon, pear, ripe cherries, and a hint of vanilla. Flavors include juicy red peaches, cherries, strawberries, nectarines, and hints of apricot and raspberries. The Nero di Troia tannins are definitely noticeable starting mid-palate and through the finish but they add to the wine’s versatility with food pairings. Overall there is a medium body, good balance and acidity, and a refreshing saturated finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, scallops, clams, mussels, salmon, tuna, swordfish, crab cakes, seafood chowders and pasta dishes, veal, pork, grilled chicken, duck confit, grilled burgers, paella, jambalaya, Asian beef, pork, and chicken stir frys, Indian red curries and Tandoori dishes, spicy Mexican food and slow cooked meat dishes such as chili colorado and verde, pasta with marinara and light meat sauces, green salads, charcuterie, and almost all cheeses.