Susumaniello, whose name is a reference to its productivity (literally it means “loading up the donkey” or something close to that), has been around for years, but has only recently come into prominence in Puglia, especially in monovarietal wines. It actually is the offspring of Garganega, the main white grape of Soave.
This excellent example is worth seeking out, offering lots of complexity at a reasonable price point. On the nose it features cherry and red berries intermixed with earth and leathery hints. Fruit is a little darker on the palate: plum, blueberry. It’s ripe — as one would expect from Southern Italy — without being overripe. My only gripe is a little too much caramel from the oak. Still a great way to try a new grape. RECOMMENDED.
WHO: Masseria Li Veli
DESIGNATION: Salento IGT
WHERE: Pugila, Italy
HOW MUCH: $19 (media sample)