Italian wines are challenging to really get to know. Different regions have different label conventions...and sometimes I find it difficult to decipher them at all.
This wine (picture is on it's way), isn't like that. No doubt to attract New World drinkers, Sfida 2003 Rosso offers a simple label that tells you right away what is in the bottle...a blend of Primitivo (60%),
Sangiovese (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%). I like trying interesting red blends, and at this price ($9 at Stew Leonard's), I just couldn't say no.
This wine is made in Puglia (the heel of Italy's boot) and the label describes it:
This medium-bodied red is ripe with jammy, berry flavors. Its bright character complements a wide variety of foods. Try with "orecchiette" pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe, leg of lamb, or mozzarella cheese.
Eyes: This rosso is a deep, dense crimson with a very short rim that fades only a little. Impressive color for this price.
Nose: I get a lot of raspberry and black pepper (from the Primitivo?) with just a little black cherry as well (Sangiovese?). Not overly complex, but interesting and inviting.
Tongue: Smoother that I expected with the red raspberry and black pepper flavors being joined by mission figs and maybe even a little plum (Nena got more plum than I did). It's jammy like one would expect, but has nice acidity as well.
Price: $9 at Stew Leonard's
Overall: We had this a week or so ago and I honestly can't remember what we ate with it, but I do remember thinking that it's an ideal pour along side casual and rustic Italian fare. Lasagna is the first thing that comes to my mind.
It's a nice, cheap wine that is just interesting enough to appease the wine geek in me. Nice party pour for sure.
By the way, "sfida" means "challenge" in Italian...maybe because this blend is meant to challenge our view of Italian wine?
Lenn's Grade: C+/B-
Nena's Grade: N/A