Cecilia is the brand name in the US of the wines of Giovanni Sarti, the talented winemaker of Puglia who produces delicious wines from his native Negroamaro and Primitivo grapes grown in Salento, the “heel” of the Italian boot (see map at bottom). The six wines reviewed here are both blends and single varietals. The prices are reasonable in view of the quality. The wines are now only available in New York state but deserve wider distribution. The importer of Tenute Cecilia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 718-707-9935
Cecilia 2010 Burgo della Rocca Salento IGP ($22) 89 The Burgo della Rocca is a blend of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Opaque ruby in color, it is lush and full in the mouth with good intensity of red and black fruit and acidity. Aged 12-16 months in barrique, it reveals notes of black olive and spice, round tannins and a long finish. Cecilia 2010 Le Muse Salento IGP ($17) 90 Le Muse is a blend of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Malvasia. Opaque ruby in color, it is ripe with concentrated red berry fruit and hints of spice on the nose. Aged 12-16 months in barriques, it exhibits good intensity of flavor with notes of chocolate and blueberry with excellent depth of flavor and a very persistent finish. Cecilia 2010 Re Artu Salento IGP ($17) 91 This 100% Negroamaro offers plum and black cherry aromas on the nose. It is fruity on the attack with a silky and elegant mouth feel, concentrated red fruit flavors and light oak notes. Aged in barriques for 12 months, it is beautifully balanced with firm round tannins and a long finish. Cecilia 2006 Sinfonia ($85) 91 The Sinfonia is a blend of 85% Primitivo and 15% Merlot. It is elegant on the palate with excellent concentration of red and black fruit and sweet oak. Aged in Allier oak barrels for 16-20 months, it offers soft round tannins, excellent balance and a persistent finish. Terrific wine. Cecilia 2010 Venti d’autonno Salento IGP ($15) 89+ A blend of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Merlot, the Venti d’Autunno is a ripe, juicy flavorful wine offering dried compote-like blackberry fruit on the nose and palate. Aged in barriques 8-10 months, it has a soft texture, concentrated flavors, round tannins and a dry finish. Cecilia 2010 Via Francigena Salento IGP ($15) 88 The Via Francigena is a medium weight fruity 100% Primitivo. It displays red berry fruit with spice and smoky notes. It is soft and round on the palate with good flavors, but is lacking fruit and is dry on the mid-palate. This wine would benefit from more concentrate fruit flavors and persistence on the finish.