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Date: Tuesday,October 21st


Time: 6 PM


Price: Members: $64
            Guests:     $84

          (includes appetizers)


Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,

         41 Willcocks Street
         Toronto, Ontario
         M5S 1C7  - 


Mailed Reservations
          - Tuesday Oct. 14th, 2014
Online Payments
         - Sunday, Oct. 19th, 2014


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Southern Italian Red Wines

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014


Guest Speaker: Vince Liberatore of Vinaio Wines


Notes on the Wines

How the Wines Were Ranked



Southern Italy has been producing wine for over 4,000 years. Civilizations have dwelled there since ancient times, and some regions, because of their geographic position, have experienced numerous invasions, with cultural influences from far and wide. Wine making was already booming in 2000 B.C. when the Phoenicians arrived and so is considered the birthplace of the Italian wine industry.   “ . . . producers in southern Italy gradually began adopting advanced cultivation and winemaking procedures with the goal of making their wines more attractive in larger, more competitive markets. While some experimented with "international" varieties to good effect, others integrated modern techniques and technologies with traditional practices and use of native grape varieties. In the process, they began turning out wines that were modern yet distinctly southern in character. Today, southern Italy is, arguably, Italy’s most exciting and dynamic winemaking region. With an added emphasis on quality, wines from southern Italy are increasingly receiving much critical acclaim and can compete with wines from more popular areas of Italy that carry loftier price tags.


Almost all regions of southern Italy are making dramatic inroads in producing wines of quality and distinction.  Puglia has 25 DOC-designated wine areas and is home to sturdy reds made from Primitivo and Negroamaro [grapes] while Basilicata, with only one DOC, boasts a magnificent red in Aglianico del Vulture.  Campania turns out a number of red and white wines of distinction led by the region’s benchmark Taurasi wine, which was the south’s first DOCG. Meanwhile, Calabria, in the toe of the boot that comprises geographic Italy, turns out a coterie of distinctive red wines, led by Ciro, which traces its roots back to the ancient Greeks.  The island of Sicily has a growing reputation for producing wines of character made from the native Nero d’Avola grape while Sardinia is producing some distinctive wines from the hearty Cannonau and the sturdy Carignano del Sulcis varieties. Even small and sparsely populated Molise is producing some interesting and reliable wines made from Montepulciano and Aglianico grapes.”


TVC has 8 highly rated red wines containing different grape varieties from the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Puglia, Calbria, Basilcata and Campania. To view a map of the wine production areas, visit  and to learn more about wines of Southern Italy, visit  Italy uses an esoteric wine labeling system like France which can be baffling to understand, but more challenging is learning all the official grape varieties which number about 350!  As you can see from our tasting notes on page 2, many of the grapes such as Nero d'Avola, Primitivo, Aglianico,  Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera  are unfamiliar to most N. American eonophiles.  Although the grapes and wines may not be household names like their Piedmont or Tuscan cousins, the wines of Italy's southern districts are bold, full-bodied, satisfying AND generally, good value for money.  This event is a great opportunity to learn about and taste good quality Italian wines made from various grape varieties.  Many of these wines can be cellared for many years, if desired.


Our events include a reception wine and light appetizers and bread with our wines. Please refrain from wearing scented colognes to a tasting.  New members/guests are encouraged to sign up for our Newcomers’ Table to be guided and introduced by an experienced club member as often as desired. Please check off Newcomers’ Table on the registration form. We look forward to seeing you!



The Wines

2004 Odoardi Vigna Garrone, Calabria  $37

Red blend. “Inviting from nose to finish, this dense red sports layers of sun-dried wild berry, plum paste and grilled fig notes wound with layers of espresso bean, rosemary and brick dust on the long, rustic finish. Gaglioppo, Nerello Cappuccio, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2020. Score: 93 (Nathan Wesley,, Sept. 30, 2012)


2006 Ceuso, Scurati Rosso, Sicily      $35
“The 2006 Ceuso is 50% Nero d'Avola, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The international varieties dominate the balance in a powerful expression of jammy blue and black fruit, grilled herbs, chocolate and spices. This intense, dark wine is rather brooding at this stage, but it should come around nicely with another few years in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. Score - 92.” (Antonio Galloni,, June 2010) "Deep ruby. Complex aromas of smoky dark berries, herbs and sexy oak, plus a suggestion of wet earth and ink. Then rich, sweet and ripe, with a slightly animal quality and a hint of dried herbs complicating the dark fruit flavors. Finishes with chewy tannins and good length, but with air became drier, showing more wood tannins." 89 International Wine Cellar


2007 Appolonio Terragnolo, Primitivo, Puglia, $19
Primivito grape is related to the Zinfandel grape. “This a very ripe, full, dense sweetish red with overripe almost baked cherry/plum fruit, plus leather and woodsy character. It's smooth, a touch sweet and raisiny; very dense and full, with very good to excellent length. Needs a winter stew.”  August 2013. David Lawrason


2007 Azienda Vincola Rivera, Puer Apuliae, Apulia  $37
Nero di Troia  grape variety. “The 2007 Nero di Troia Puer Apuliae explodes from the glass with blackberries, blueberries, tar, smoke, licorice and violets. Mint and flowers wrap around the intense, building finish. The tannins are big and bold today, but should begin to melt away in another few years. Rivera gives the Puer Apuliae 14 months in new French oak. My sense is the wine could be even better with less oak influence given the striking purity of the fruit. Regardless, the Puer Apuliae is one of the handful of wines of southern Italy imbued with true pedigree. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2027. Score - 93+.“ Antonio Galloni,, June 2011

2008 Elena Fucci, Aglianico del Vulture Titolo, Basilicata $49
“Elena Fucci’s 2008 Aglianico del Vulture Titolo bursts from the glass with an exciting, viscerally thrilling display of dark red fruit, tobacco, incense, bacon fat, smoke and tar. Soft and voluptuous on the palate, the wine shows off considerable personality and pedigree in a rich, textured style that captures tons of Aglianico character while taming some of the grape’s wilder tendencies. Chocolate, mocha, raspberry jam, licorice and dried flowers add complexity on the huge finish. This flashy, racy red will be even better in another few years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023. Antonio Galloni (June, 2011). 92 pts


2008 Villa Raiano Taurasi,  DOCG, Campania $24
Aglianico is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy known to produce full-bodied red wines that show musky berry flavors with firm tannins and good aging potential.  “Dark spices, black cherry and anise on the nose and palate. Full-bodied red with a tannic grip. Cedar brush finish. Give it some time in the cellar. Pair with steak.  90/100  90 pts” Natalie Maclean (August 17, 2013)


2009 Leone de Castris, Salice Salentino DOC, Riserva, Puglia     $19
“This is a wine of intense red color with garnet-colored hints, made of [90%] Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera [10%]. On the nose, fruity sensations of blackberry and black cherry, notes of basil and sweet spices due to refinement in oak barrels. In the mouth, it is smooth and balanced with strong, but not intrusive tannins. It has a long, lasting finish.” Winemaker's Notes. 91 pt Wine Enthusiast


2010 Argiolas Perdera, Monica di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia $18
Antonio Argiolas and his twin sons, Franco and Giuseppe, have worked diligently to fulfill their commitment to become the leaders in Sardinian enology. “Grape varieties: Monica, Carignano, Bovale Sardo.  Color: Intense ruby red with an undertone typical of Monica. Nose: Vinous, intense, characteristic. Palate: Round, final aftertaste almost tending to sweetness, a typical feature of erect-shrub grown Monica grapes. Food matches: Traditional pasta dishes dressed with tomato sauce, tasty fish stews, slices of grilled tuna fish, stewed lamb, pecorino cheese, medium matured." Producers’ notes. "The baking spice, smoked apple wood and briar notes are well-integrated, with dark plum and racy black cherry fruit. Medium tannins add weight to the licorice aftertaste. Drink now. (5/31/13)" 88 pts, Wine Spectator


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How The Wines Were Ranked

Please check back after the tasting for the results.


Name of Wine (in order poured) Group Ranking Guest Ranking
A -
2010 Argiolas Perdera, Monica di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia $18
5 5
B -
2006 Ceuso, Scurati Rosso, Sicily $35
7 3
C -
2009 Leone de Castris, Salice Salentino DOC, Riserva, Puglia $19
4 8
D -
2007 Appolonio Terragnolo, Primitivo, Puglia, $19
1 6
E -
2007 Azienda Vincola Rivera, Puer Apuliae, Apulia $37
8 4
F -
2008 Elena Fucci, Aglianico del Vulture Titolo, Basilicata $49
6 1
G -
2008 Villa Raiano Taurasi, DOCG, Campania $24
3 7
H -
2004 Odoardi Vigna Garrone, Calabria $37
2 2