I can’t remember when or how my path was first intercepted by Anthony Iatesta.
Probably the unlikeliest of wine trade inhabitants, Iatesta is a transplanted Philadelphian, a true Italian – not somebody with an Italian name separated from the mother country by two or three generations.
This man is as Italian as a Gucci handbag or the Pope. Bad analogy, sorry.
Anyway, somehow Tony has managed to survive in an industry controlled by multi-national corporations. He is one of the regions stealth aircraft, managing to operate below the radar unhindered by competition and, frankly, not much of a threat to them either.
Iatesta has a day job which keeps a roof over his wife and kids, and he has returned to his native Italy regularly to find new wines to bring home to us.
His portfolio is simple but satisfying, like a dish of homemade pasta. It doesn’t intend to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped from afar.
It is affordable quaffing for family and friends, without any airs and graces or misconceptions about its station in life. The wines that Iatesta brings to market remind us of life’s simple pleasures, and I say that with the greatest respect for both Anthony and his passion for his native grapes.
Curtirene Salice Salentino 2006 (PLCB Code: 22301; $10.49) is the latest Iatesta import to have be swirled about in my wine glass. Salice Salentino is the peninsula which forms Italy’s heel in the region of Apulia, and the wines made in this DOC are a blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes. The Azienda Vinicola Durante winery in the town of Veglie in southern Puglia, is responsible for Iatesta’s “Salice.”
I'm very partial to this deep ruby colored wine after about 20 minutes in the fridge. The flavor isn’t intense or overly rich, it does, however, offer a refreshing, yet concentrated, spicy and berry fruit flavor which marries well with heavy dishes or simple pasta.
I’m not impressed with extravagant wines, I prefer humble wines the country folk would drink.
Here we have one of life’s simple pleasures, the type of drink which originally attracted me to the wine world and which reminds me why I stayed.
Curtirene Salice Salentino 2006 is an Italian gem.
Look for Curtirene Salice Salentino 2006 and other great wines at the following Wine & Spirits shops: