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Feudi di Guagnano

Feudi di Guagnano is dedicated to making world class wines from the indigenous grape varieties of Negroamaro and Primitivo grown in Apulia in southern Italy.  In 2002 the three grandsons of the original growers realized that the rich and deep flavors from both grapes could be made into outstanding aging-worthy wines that could be as interesting as more prominent Italian wines such as Barolos and Brunellos.

Feudi di Guagnano is more than just making wine, however, as it expresses the friendly spirits and beautiful sunny weather of southern Italy.  Moments of conviviality, tastes of the native grapes Negroamaro and Primitivo, routes through the countryside, expansive landscapes, friendships, and warm welcomes are the essence of the winery.

Their best wines comes from the most ancient alberellos which are used for three Riservas.  Two are one hundred percent expressions of the two principal native varietals and one is a DOC blend.  These wines show the real character of Salento from such rich and full-bodied reds to be tasted with passion, with some friends, or on winter evenings.  The Riservas are structured to be enjoyed now, aged, collected, or uncorked for a special event.

After the initial  success of introducing the Feudi di Guagnano Riservas to the market, I've also now selected additional wines.  All of the wines are only from estate grown fruit but they have two other labels which use fruit from younger vineyards.  From those labels, Diecianni and Terremare, I've selected two other native varietals, Malvasia Nera and Verdeca, and two other examples of Primitivo and Negroamaro.

Primitivo vineyards

Negroamaro vineyards

Private tasting room with Barrel Storage

The Grandsons: Carlo, Gianvito, and Franco

The Wines

Nero di Velluto 2013

This is the 100% Negroamaro Riserva which fills the palate with rich deep flavors and velvety tannins.  The name is from the beginning of the 20th century when Palumbo, describing the harvest time in Salento, wrote: at the end of September, in the early morning, when the sunbeams filter through the leaves of the Negroamaro vineyards, the riper grape bunches take a typical color resembling black velvet.

The vineyards are over 80 years old and the harvest is carried out in the middle of October. The best grape bunches are separated from the others and put in small wooden boxes. Then the grapes semi-dry for about 30 days in some well-aired rooms. The drying process reduces the liquid part contained in the berries by around 40 percent.  After the drying process, the grapes are crushed and destemmed softly. The fermentation lasts about two weeks. The resulting wine ages for 12 months in French oak barrels.

The resulting aromas are blackberries, dark plums, sweet almonds, and hints of cinnamon.  Flavors include blackberries, dark chocolate, and hints of cocoa and black pepper.  Although being very smooth and with velvety tannins, this is a big powerful wine that will complement Filet Mignon, NY Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, Veal Chops, Pork Chops, Duck, Venison, Wild Boar, Asian Beef dishes,  BBQ Pork, smoked brisket, Mexican food such as Chicken Mole, Pork Enchiladas, and Carne Asada. and it would also be delicious accompanying a dessert of hard and rich cheeses.  Aging potential is at least 12 to 15 years and possibly as long as 20 years.

Pietrafinita 2013

This is the 100% Primitivo Riserva and it has a perfect balance of rich tannins and acidity.  The name is from the “pietrefinita”, or boundary stones, which have remained for centuries where they had been placed to outline the borders of the vineyards.

 

Vineyards are over fifty years old and are cultivated following the ancient technique known as “head training bush.”  The grapes are hand-picked at the beginning of September and the old vines produce small grape bunches which are left to semi-dry for one month in wooden boxes. After the drying process, the grapes are crushed and de-stemmed softly. The fermentation lasts about two weeks and the resulting wine ages for 12 months in small oak barrels.

 

This complex and elegant wine has aromas of peonies, wild roses, violets, honeysuckle, mocha, soy, and hints of black cherry and licorice.  Flavors include blackberries, raspberries, ripe peaches, dark plums, and with hints of cocoa in the long finish.  Its flavors and medium to full mouthfeel are a perfect complement for Filet Mignon, NY Steak, Rib Eye, veal, pork, lamb, wild boar, venison, sausages, Asian Beef and Pork dishes, grilled chicken, lasagna, grilled vegetables, Mexican beef and pork dishes, and hard cheeses.  Aging potential is at least 12 to 15 years.

Le Camarde 2014

This is a blend of 80 percent Negroamaro and 20 percent Primitivo from vines of at least 40 years of age.  The name is from Camarda, which is one the most ancient district in Guagnano. Feudi di Guagnano owns several Negroamaro and Primitivo vineyards in that area and all they contribute to the creation of this magnificent wine.

  

Manual harvesting is used with the Primitivo grapes at the beginning of September and the Negroamaro grapes on the second ten days of the same month.  The grapes then macerate and ferment for two weeks and the wine ages for about three months in French oak barrels.
 

The nose offers a delightful entry of blackberry, cassis, cherry kirsch, and soy.  Flavors include vanilla, blackberries, dark cherries, elderberries, dark chocolate, and hints of cedar and juniper.  The medium to full mouthfeel, perfect balance and acidity, and sweet tannins are a perfect  complement for Filet Mignon, NY Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, beef stew, veal chops, pork chops, sausages, short ribs, pork shoulder, lamb, venison, wild boar, rich vegetable dishes, roasted potatoes, Mexican food, and hard and rich cheeses.  Aging potential is at least six to eight years.

Vegamaro 2016

From a lot of the food pairings listed for the wines above, you might think that the overall style is to produce rich powerful wines.  But, there is more versatility in their winemaking as shown by their Vegamaro.  The "Vega" part of the name is from two perspectives: 1) the wine is a certified "Vegan" wine, and 2) the style is a perfect complement for vegetarian food along with some other interesting food pairings as well.  The "amaro" part of the name is from this is a 100 percent Negroamaro wine which also shows the versatility of this wonderful grape.

Initial aromas are of dark cherries, plums, cedar, and blackberries.  Flavors include cherries, strawberries, raspberry jam, blackberries, and hint of cola.  The color is bright red ruby with a medium but saturated mouthfeel, good balance, mild acidity, and with tannins that enrich the structure and makes the taste full and elegant.

I came up with a lot of food pairings for the Vegamaro which would include grilled vegetables, vegetable stir fry, Asian noodles, tofu, vegetable soups, beans such as pinto and black beans, eggplant parmesan, sautéed mushrooms, pasta with tomato sauce, grains dishes such as with quinoa, millet, and polenta, and vegetable curries.  But, the overall versatility of this wine extends to other cuisine too such as grilled salmon and chicken, Asian beef and pork dishes, rack of lamb, Mexican food, and lasagna.  Although this is not a wine to consider for ageing, its bright fresh core of fruit will drink well for at least three years.

 

Diecianni Malvasia Nera 2017

 

Aromas include blackberries, dark cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, and soy.  Flavors include dark plums, dark cherries, dark chocolate, and really ripe blackberries.  Complementing the rich flavors is a light to medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and an interesting and memorable finish that accentuates the rich fruit in this wine.

 

Food pairings would include salmon, grilled shrimp, paella, braised meats, BBQ ribs, roast ham, sausages, beef stew, pasta with meat sauces, cassoulet, Mexican and Asian beef dishes, anything with a Mole or Tamarind sauce, and rich and hard cheeses.

 

Diecianni Verdeca 2018

 

Aromas are of white flowers, honeysuckle, and gardenia along with hints of pineapple, candied lemon, and ripe honeydew melon.  The flavor profile initially seems mild with just hints of grapefruit, lemon, and pineapple, and while also seeming to have a light to medium body, there is a fully saturated and refreshing overall mouthfeel.  There is good balance across the palate, mild acidity but in perfect balance with the flavors, and a nice finish.

 

Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, scallops, sole, red snapper, lobster bisque, linguine with clam sauce, flash fried anchovies, fried calamari, seafood and vegetable fritto misto, pork cutlets, chicken, gnocchi, sushi, Asian pork and chicken stir frys, Orange Chicken, cellophane noodles with crab, Spring Rolls, Imperial Rolls, anything with ginger, Asian vegetable salads, grilled vegetables such as asparagus and squashes, sauteed spinach, and green salads.

 

Terramare Primitivo 2017 

 

Aromas include plums, soy, and ripe figs.  Flavors include blackberries, dark plums, and chocolate.  There is medium body, good balance, and a nice full finish.

 

Food pairings would include beef stew, brisket, duck, pork shoulder, tuna, charcuterie, pasta with meat sauce, Asian beef stir frys, Mexican beef and pork dishes, and medium cheeses

 

Terramare Negroamaro 2018

 

Aromas are of ripe blackberries, figs, and dark cherries along with hints of vanilla, raspberries, ripe strawberries, and rhubarb.  Flavors are of dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries, and blueberries along with hints of thyme and cranberry.  There is a perfectly balanced medium body, good acidity, and a nice finish with sweet and mild tannins.

 

For a red wine with “dark fruit” flavors, the food pairings are remarkably versatile and would include beef stew, short ribs, veal chops, veal stew, pork shoulder, wild boar, pasta with meat sauce, lasagna, mushroom risotto, grilled or braised tuna, salmon, steamed mussels or clams, coq au vin, Asian beef, pork, or chicken stir fry, beef with broccoli, beef teriyaki, Indian Tandoori dishes, mild red curries, beef or pork enchiladas or tacos, beans such as black beans or lentils, charcuterie, and mild and soft cheeses.