Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tormaresca Masseria Maime 2004

This wine is made from 100% Negroamaro, a relatively obscure grape grown almost only in Puglia. The name is usually said to mean "black bitter" though some say is means "black black" with the "amaro" deriving from Greek "mavro." One way or the other, it certainly is dark, dark, dark. But despite the name, not bitter at all. Oz Clarke says the grape is "sturdy in structure and can be both slightly farmyardy in flavour and have a distinctly medicinal edge." The Oxford Companion describes "chunk[y] tannins."

Well, I didn't get any of that. No farmyard at all, and just a hint of menthol. The tannins are not chunky at all. On the contrary, they are very refined - the wine seems almost soft at first but fine tannins linger on the finish. Really beautiful mouthfeel. Some dark fruit, but the flavours tend more towards leather and chocolate. It reminds me of a softer version of the Bocca di Lupo, which isn't too surprising - the grape is different, but the producer and vineyard are the same. If it has any negatives, it is that it is a bit short. But there is so much else going on that who can complain?

Price: $34.48
Value: 4/5
Score: 91(N) - 90(K)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 8026530000152


  1. I am glad you liked the Maime, I also enjoyed it. But also like the Primitivo, it was hard for me to accept the price, especially considering the Mezzomondo Salento Negroamaro UPC #8032610311346 at $8.99. I admit that this is not the same Mezzomondo that I had in Ottawa 5 yrs ago, it is now thinner and less extracted, but the core if this wine is still present. The Mezzo is rustic, tea-like dryness and has a core of stewed cherries and leafy tobacco- Players light I think. There is certainly a difference in the two wines, the Maime is better, just is it 4x better is my question. As a FYI, the Mezzo is a perfect wine to bring to blind tastings, most wine professionals are quite puzzled by it and usually guess it as an expensive Tuscan.

  2. I tried this wine last night, and found it very interesting and enjoyable. The big flavor for me on the nose and palate was a rich earthy baking spice of some mix of cloves, cinnamon, and dirt. This was a nice surprise mixed with lots of sweet smooth red fruit and good balance all around. For me 90+ points.