Leone de Castris is based in the town of Salice Salentino in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. The winery produces no less than 26 red, white, and rose wines (that’s a lot of wine!), 3 sparkling wines, grappa, and olive oil.
The 2011 Leone de Castris Five Roses was 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia, more specifically, Black Malvasia from Lecce. The wine was aged for a minimum of one month in steel tanks, and for an additional month in the bottle prior to release. The listed ABV was 12.5%. The wine’s classification was IGT.
In my search for an Italian Rosati for the coming summer months, the kind gentlemen at Basil T’s, a local Italian restaurant, had recommended I try the Caves de Donnas Larmes du Paradis and the Leone de Castris Five Roses.
Leone de Castris lays claim to Five Roses being the first Rose bottled in Italy, back in 1943. With that reputation and the positive experience I had with the Larmes du Paradis, I was looking forward to tasting this wine.
Prior to consumption, the wine was chilled.
The primary aromas from the nose were strawberry and peach. There were some light floral notes in the background as well.
On the palate, I detected red berries, melon, and mint. The mint didn’t seem like it belonged. The wine was tart on the tongue, unpleasantly tart. It lacked the crispness and clarity I have found in other Rosati.
The finish was pretty sharp, almost medicinal. This was definitely not what I was expecting.
This wine was a disappointment. The 2011 Leone de Castris Five Roses retails in the $12-15 range. It may appeal to some Rosato drinkers, but it was not for me. I would not purchase it again. Luckily, we still have the Larmes du Paradis.