Fortium Salice Salentino (2005)

fortium-salice-salentino-2005It is a Saturday night and we are having a relaxing evening together. I chose this Italian red wine, Fortium Salice Salentino 2005, to accompany our dinner tonight. This is a surprise! We are accustomed to Italian red wines to being rather austere and musty. But this is everything but! The wine is made from grapes by the name of Negro Amaro (black bitter), Malvaisa Nera di Brindisi, and Malvasia Nera di Lecce. The Negro Amaro is responsible for producing one of the most popular, low-priced Italian table wines in the United States (thanks, Karen MacNeil, for this information). The wine is surprisingly fruity; it was almost off-putting to me at first taste, but with some air I warmed up to the taste (although I prefer a wine that is a bit drier and less fruity than this one). This is very fruity with lots of vanilla and spice. The texture is rather creamy. If you like Australian red wines, you will like this one.

Earlier today I went out for a run but discovered the roads were so slippery from a snowfall of about 5 inches. The snow plows had come through and the result was extremely slippery, sticky snow. The snow stuck to the bottom of my shoes, making ice skates . . .after 1 mile and several scary moments where I almost fell, I realized it was too treacherous. So I drove to the Wellness Center and made myself do 6.5 miles on the treadmill. Oh, misery! I do not like running on treadmills but I was due for 7.5 miles today. Somehow,  I played mind games and got it done.

For dinner tonight, I am making pork chops and small potatoes. Something I have recently discovered is that pork chops benefit from brining. So I brined these and am now cooking them in a hot cast-iron skillet with a bit of olive oil. These will be very brown and crunchy on the outside. I am also simmering small, yellow (organic) potatoes in chicken broth. I need to get up and make a vegetable . . . we’ll see how we like this dinner tonight. I’ll report back tomorrow!  Cheers!

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16 Responses to “Fortium Salice Salentino (2005)”

  1. Marty & Jeannie Says:

    Mel- Negroamaro is the cautionary name of the red grape in the south of Puglia. Adding Malvasia Nera to the mix takes the edge off and gives the wine a “velvet to the texture” –
    Otherwise, high alcohol/port like wine…The wine is an IGT and probably comes from south of the Brindisi-Taranto HWY
    This is Primivito land…Italian ZF…dinner sounds GREAT=)
    Cheers

  2. Andy Says:

    Hello, IGT (Indicazione geografica tipica) is an ItaIian wine classification system, IGT wines are labeled with the locality of their creation, but do not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) or the stictist DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita ) designations, which are generally intended to protect traditional wine formulations such as Chianti, Barolo or Salice Salentino . In wine terms, IGT is considered the rough Italian equivalent of the French “vin de pays” designation.
    IGT does not mean less quality wines, very famous and expensive super tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia are IGT. Salice Salento is NOT IGT as Marty & Jeannie said, it is DOC it says right on the bottle under Salice Salentino .
    I live in the Detroit area and I have found a few Salice Salentino wines, but I cannot find Fortium.

    • Tom & Melody Says:

      Andy, thank you for your intelligent explanation of the Italian wine classification system. I must admit to not having paid much attention to anything about wine except the name on the bottle and how it tastes to me. But, this is interesting and worth knowing.

      We’re practically neighbors, Andy. Where in Detroit are you?

  3. andy Says:

    I’m in Macomb,
    Were might I be able to purchase Fortium Salice Salentino. The only Salice Salentino I found in this area are Taurino and La Corte.
    Thank you

  4. Juergen Says:

    Just got my shipment from “4 seasons” (my wine club 😉 and discovered a bottle of 2005 Fortium Salice Salentino. I wanted to do some re-search before opening it and saw your wine blog. The description I received describes “Fortium is a rich, velvet-smooth red made from dark Negroamaro, decribed by wine critic Matthew Jukes as “a fabulous red grape, bursting with coffee, herb and plum aromas”. This variety is said to grow best in the Salento Peninsula where the grapes benefit from the arid landscape and warm winds from the Ionan Sea, producing concentrated and flavorsome fruit.
    Fortium is a multi-medal winning wine from the acclaimed Cantine Due Palme cellar, situated close to the heart of Salento. The cellar is one of a number of wineries in the region that have begun focusing firmly on quality rather than quantity. Combined with the talent of winemaker Angelo Maci, they have been voted southern Italy’s “Winery of the year’ for two years running. They have been highly praised by revered wine critic Robert Parker.
    Unfortunately, I cant open the bottle tonight, but will credence it on the weekend…. will let you know the real experience then 😉

  5. San Francisco Photos Says:

    I’m just having this wine and I love it. I want to buy more!!! And you are absolutely right about austere and musty. But this was a major surprise! Yum!

  6. Christine Says:

    Can you tell me where to purchase this wine? I had some several months ago and like you, I’m hooked. Problem is I can’t find it anywhere and the bottle I had was given to me. Thanks!

    • Tom & Melody Says:

      Christine. . .I can’t remember where we purchased this wine, but I am guessing we found it at Trader Joe’s. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you?

      • Christine Says:

        Good ol’ Trader Joe’s…….I’ll give it a try first thing and let you know. At least there is hope. Since my request I have searched even further, internet, my favorite “wine guy”, etc., I’ve had absolutly no luck. Please keep me posted if anyone has any luck. My quest continues. Cheers to you all!!

      • Tom & Melody Says:

        And cheers to you, Christine. Please keep us posted about your search.


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