Sun 20 Feb 2011
At the end of October, I touted the charms of the inexpensive Li Veli Orion 2008, a primitivo wine from Apulia. Today, for Wine of the Week — and consumed with last’s night’s pizza — it’s the turn of Li Veli Pezzo Morgana 2007, Salice Salentino, made from negroamaro grapes, “negroamaro” meaning “black and bitter,” that is, filled with hearty tannins. Salice Salentino is a D.O.C. region down in the heel of the Italian boot, where the Falvo family, owners of Tuscany’s Avignonese estate, bought a 19th century property in 1999 and made vast improvements. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, Li Veli Pezzo Morgana 2007 offers a deep, dark ruby color and stirring aromas of slightly stewed and Amarone-like black currants and plums permeated by lavender and licorice, smoke, cloves and pruny fruit-cake. The wine is fleshy and meaty in its spicy black and blue fruit flavors, dense with succulent tannins that you can almost roll your tongue around and polished oak; this is robust without being rustic, ingratiating without being kissy-face. The finish brings in sufficient levels of graphite-infused minerality and vibrant acidity to make you take the whole enterprise rather seriously; there’s a last wild note of bruised mulberry and blueberry. Li Veli Pezzo Morgana 2007 was luscious with our pizza and would be equally appropriate with braised or grilled meat and rich pasta dishes. 14.5 percent alcohol. Drink now through 2012. Very Good+. About $19 to $22.
Imported by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, Napa, Cal. A sample for review.