This antipasti at The Corner Room, Portland, ME, is just as delicious as it looks – a bountiful selection of cured meats, cheeses including fresh ricotta with pesto oil, and fresh vegetables ($18). We paired it with the rich, earthy, and perfectly aged 2007 Copertino Rosso Riserva ($8/$23) made mostly from the Negroamaro grape in Italy’s Apulia region.
What is Copertino?
If you agree that Italy is in the shape of a boot, then Apulia (Puglia), and it’s Salentine Peninsula in particular, is the high heel of the boot extending out into the Gulf of Taranta and the Adriatic Sea. Copertino is a town and a DOC on the Salentine Peninsula. The red wines produced here are made mostly from Negroamaro grapes. In fact any red wine claiming to be a Copertino must be made up of at least 70% Negroamaro. Malvasia Nera is typically added to the blend to add a velvety softness to the typically tannic and high-alcohol Negroamaro wines grown here. This wine is produced by the Cupertinum Cantina Sociale Cooperativa. A co-operative of grape growers, considered one of the key producers on the Salintine Peninsula.
The wine is concentrated garnet in color with hints of browning at the rim–showing development and age. On the nose the wine is displaying tertiary aromas that come with development–leather, cedar, tobacco, and a smokey and rich brown earth, with secondary dried, sultry, black fruits. On the palate the wine is balanced with medium acidity, medium-plus alcohol, and medium-plus but velvety tannins. The finish is medium with the rich earth, smokiness, leather, black fruits, and velvety tannins coating the palate. This wine is a great value at $11-15 retail and ready to drink now.