BB Review: Zensa Nero di Troia 2015

My goodness, January is bleeeeaaaak af, but luckily there's wine! This month, we said fauquet to photography (whilst saying hello to January's all-day gloom) and sat in the dark pondering our 2018 wines-o-lutions whilst sipping wines that embody our oaths for this Brave New Year. Let's begin. 

THE WINE

BOTTLE: Zensa Nero di Troia 2015 – Puglia, Italy

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £12.00 from oddbins 

ABV & TECH SPECS: 13.5% ABV 

BEHIND THE LABEL: Orion Wines was founded in 2010 by Luca Pomaro and Alessandro Michelon. Zensa is the pronunciation of the Italian word ‘senza’, meaning ‘without’, in this case it is to underline that this is made ‘senza’ chemical pesticides and fertilisers, using only what Mother Nature provides. 

Although the name of the grape varietal, Nero di Troia, might be new to you, it’s actually the third most-planted grape varietal in Puglia, often overlooked by its neighbours Primativo and Negroamaro. 

Also, NdT is a small-berry variety with a higher ratio of skin to flesh, which means its wines have a more intense colour, softer tannins, and –most importantly– higher resveratrol, which are the anti-oxidants found in wine. And we can all do with a little more of them in January!

WHY KATE BOUGHT THIS WINE: This year, I want to be a way more thoughtful consumer on all fronts. But especially with my wine. I had it on good authority that the Oddbins team was liking this biodynamic Italian red, so I scooped it up whilst running some errands and brought it home to review. (You can listen to the real reason I bought this wine in our latest podcast episode!) 

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THE VERDICT 

CARO: Spice! Smoke! Dragee!... This wine has so many aromas going on that I keep finding more and more hidden in its subtlety! It looks kinda rusty, almost like blood and feels slightly syrupy with a little tannin, which is quite nice. Its taste reminds me of sugar-coated nuts, but more like a faint memory than a punch-in-the-face sweet. It’s totally moreish, in a dessert way and warming like a nightcap. 

If I had a fireplace, I’d get myself a bottle of this to sip on a relaxing night by the fire, with a good film on. Got a fireplace I can borrow?

ANGELA: This smells just like a kirsch and white chocolate semifreddo that I’ve recently designated as my favourite dessert of all time, delicious! Then it opens up in layers of vanilla and liquorice before it blends into smoky mocha… the palate is just as complex, medium bodied and silky. Watch out Negroamaro … my new favourite Puglian varietal might be in town. More please!

KATE: Have you ever eaten a bowl of berries whilst standing directly next to a bonfire? I haven't, but that's what this wine smells like. It tastes spicy and yummy (lol– very profesh wine word right there) with hints of pomegranate and a smokey, warming bonfire breeze. But to be honest, I'm not crazy about this wine. It feels a little off-balance to me, a bit too dark, a bit too heavy. Or maybe that's just my January blues talking?

WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Caro and Angela are sneaking away with the bottle whilst Kate stares listlessly into space and contemplates moving to the Southern Hemisphere. January is brutal, man.