“These wines exude the darkness and richness that you associate with the Salento in the southern tip of sun-drenched Puglia,” wrote Monica Larner, the Italian specialist for Robert Parker in 2020. “However, the winemaking team takes care to underline the inner elegance and poise of these powerhouse indigenous grapes.”

She was writing about the 2015 Amativo by the Cantele family, an innovative blend of native grapes from Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot.”

This Thursday, we’ll be welcoming one of my best friends in the wine trade, Paolo Cantele, the current generation of this family-owned estate.

I’ll leave it to him to tell the story of how their family embarked on a “reverse migration” from north to south in the years that followed World War II. While most families were heading north to work in the factories of Milan and Turin, the Canteles followed the sun to Puglia to grow grapes and make wine.

It’s an incredible tale. And the wines that their family have made over the years are equally compelling.

For our virtual dinner this week, we’ll be opening a hidden treasure: A 2015 Amativo — yes, 2015! — wine that I found while leafing through the catalog of a local distributor. I rarely ask for sample bottles but in this case I just couldn’t resist. And when the bottle was opened, the glorious red fruit flavors just sang in the glass.

It’s a wine that I know that fans of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are going to love. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s rich. And it’s fresh with the sea breeze of the Mediterranean.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

Thanks, as always, for your support. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for you.

Jeremy Parzen
wine director
ROMA

Calling Napa Cab Lovers!

Thursday, February 10
7:30 p.m.
guests will be provided with a Zoom link

$119 per couple

Please email Jeremy to reserve
by clicking here.

MENU

Burrata
cream-filled mozzarella, warm tomatoes,
arugula & Prosciutto di Parma

Rigatoni con Salsiccia
rigatoni with sausage, ricotta,
rapini, tomato sauce

Reale di Manzo
Red wine braised short rib
over rustic mashed potatoes

Cantele 2015 Amativo
(90+ points Robert Parker)

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