Italian Editor

Southern Italy Wines

While the bulk of Italy’s DOCG wine-producing regions aren’t located in Southern Italy, there are plenty of quality wines fashioned here. The south’s reputation is predominantly built on the red grapes Aglianico, Primitivo, Negroamaro and Nero D’Avola and the white grapes Vermentino, Greco and Trebbiano. The Taurasi DOCG located in Campania is one of Southern Italy’s most renowned wines. Vinified from the thick-skinned Aglianico grape, the wine lends brooding dark fruit qualities with a burly structure. Campania white wines shouldn’t be overlooked, either; the Greco di Tufo DOCG produces zesty, Greco-based whites, which offer copious white fruit and mineral flavors. Further southeast, the region of Puglia is home to Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG, a decidedly sweet wine based on Primitivo, a varietal that’s been genetically linked to Zinfandel. Quality wines can also be found in Puglia’s Salice Salentino DOC, a deeply pigmented and tannic wine based on the Negroamaro varietal. On the island of Sicily, the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG—a red blend based on Nero D’Avola—garners much respect. And of course one cannot overlook the island’s well-known Marsala DOC, a fortified wine that suffered the reputation of being solely a cooking wine in the 20th century. On Italy’s other island, Sardegna, located off the southwestern coast, Vermentino di Gallura is produced, a DOCG white wine that pairs beautifully with the island’s seafood offerings. To discover some Southern Italy’s best wines and values, visit the Southern Italy Wine Guide for some top picks.

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95
points

Apollonio 1997 Red (Copertino)

  1. $10
One of the most satisfying wines I have had in a long time. A blend of Negro-amaro (80%) and four other red grapes crafted by the brothers Apollonio in southern Italy. Deep red with aromas of ripe black cherries, nutmeg and leather. An extraordinary wine that could probably sell in the $25 range.  — W.E.  (11/15/1999)
95
points

Mastroberardino 2006 Riserva Radici Aglianico (Taurasi)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $75
This is a gorgeous, compelling wine of power and finesse. It has a captivating fragrance of earth, leather, black fruit and incense accented with whiffs of exotic spice. The palate is rich but refined, delivering ripe black cherry, blue berry, tobacco and baking spices along with enveloping, velvety tannins. Drink 2016–2036.  — K.O.  (12/31/2013)
94
points

Feudi di San Gregorio 2007 Piano di Montevergine Riserva Aglianico (Taurasi)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $65
This special wine is aged for 18 months in oak and shows a massively long and intense finish, with evolving notes of black fruit, ash, prune, spice, leather and bitter black chocolate. It showcases the hard work achieved by Feudi di San Gregorio over the years. This should age for 10 years or more.  — M.L.  (2/1/2013)
94
points

Feudi di San Gregorio 2004 Piano di Montevergine Riserva Aglianico (Taurasi)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $65
This vineyard-designate Taurasi Riserva is probably one of the biggest, boldest wines produced in Italy. It opens with an inky black color and intense aromas of black fruit, toast, spice, espresso bean and bitter black chocolate. The jackhammer tannins are steady and firm, and there’s a long tail of prune and black fruit on the finish.  — M.L.  (6/1/2012)
94
points

Terre del Principe 2008 Vigna Piancastelli Red (Terre del Volturno)

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $70
Made from a blend of Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia grapes, this shows sweet aromas of chocolate fudge and maraschino, with lingering tones of tar, black licorice and almond paste. The wine is incredibly smooth, rich and long lasting.  — M.L.  (3/1/2013)
94
points

Feudi di San Gregorio 2007 Sirica Red (Campania)

  • Cellar Selection
This is a fascinating wine that represents the first bottling of a newly discovered grape called Sirica (only 690 bottles have been produced). Genetic research shows that the grape shares characteristic with Syrah but that its lineage extends deep into ancient times. The wine is simply delicious with soft layers of chocolate, cherry and spice and balanced firmness…  — M.L.  (6/1/2011)
94
points

Villa Matilde 2006 Eleusi Passito 375ml Falanghina (Roccamonfina)

Eleusi is a gorgeous and opulent wine with natural intensity that sees no limits. The aromas are penetrating and rich and include dried apricot, chestnut honey, acacia flower and candied fruit. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and the finish lasts forever. Beautiful.  — M.L.  (6/1/2011)
94
points

Di Majo Norante 2006 Apianae Moscato (Molise)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $29
This is an extraordinary, golden dessert wine with intense and penetrating notes of honey, marron glacé, dried apricot, marzipan, candied lemon, dried mint and jasmine. It’s smooth, rich and long lasting in the mouth. The wine has personality and power and boasts magnetic appeal across the board.  — M.L.  (10/1/2008)
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