Masseria Li Veli "Askos" Susumaniello 2019

Susumaniello|Salento, Puglia

The "su-su" is back! One of the most popular Italian reds we've ever offered is here, fresh off the boat.

Susumaniello (soo-soo-mahn-YELLO) is one of Puglia's lesser-known but prized varieties, responsible for strapping, robust, fruity reds. I've encountered few better examples of Puglia's signature variety than Li Veli's.

Masseria Li Veli is a historic farm and winery in Salento in Puglia, the limestone fossil-studded southern "heel" of Italy's boot. Their site boasts over two millennia of Greek, Roman and Italian history – it's been continuously inhabited since at least the third century B.C.! This Susumaniello is part of their "Askos" series, which pays homage to the area's Greek roots and ancient Italian varieties.

This is one of the most pleasurable drinking experiences from the first pull of the cork. Witnessing it evolve from its wild raspberry, rose petal, and plummy notes and unfold into red pepper, blood orange, smoked meat, and black plum. It goes strong into its second day open, continuing to unfold with all the spicy, silky, earthy qualities compounded.

The oak use is tempered in this wine, making it dense and deeply flavored but not harshly tannic or out of balance. So so good with nearly any dish. Grilling some ribeyes? Susu! Smoky eggplant dip? Susu! Roasted King salmon with summer squash? Susu! 

While some producers are experimenting with non-native varieties, this Susumaniello is an authentic Pugliese red, evocative of its sunny, dry landscape strewn with vines, olive trees, and wild scrub, relentlessly buffeted by the winds of the Adriatic. We love Italian reds like this for their shape-shifting abilities: it's without a doubt robust enough for the heartiest of cuisines yet light on its feet to enjoy acapella during a balmy summer night. Drink now or cellar for an additional 3-5 years with lovely results!

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