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Copertino is the DOC to the south and east of the famous Salice Salentino. Like Salice, Copertino emphasizes the Negroamaro grape, which must, by law, constitute seventy percent of the wine’s blend. The Cantina Sociale’s 2012 Copertino is fashioned from a core of Negroamaro seasoned by a dollop of aromatic Malvasia Nera.
An orange-rimmed black garnet color, the Copertino Riserva’s long aging results in a kaleidoscope of exotic aromas from chukar cherries to dried currants, plus spicy cinnamon, allspice, cola, wild mushrooms, and cured meat. Showing the elegance of ten years’ aging, the wine delivers dried cherry fruit followed by gorgeously funky leathery notes and the kind of gamy nuances and velvety palate texture that can only emerge from patient aging. Long, lingering, and with impressive staying power, the wine finishes with earthy, mushroomy notes alongside reprises of saddle leather, tobacco, game, and peppery salumi. Buy this by the case and serve with everything that calls for a lusty, soul-satisfying red wine. Pizza, pasta in a sun-dried tomato, pine nut and olive oil sauce, grilled sausages, and marinated flank steak come immediately to mind.