Sometimes wine is the most boring thing in the world.  Like anything that you spend too much time focused on you can become tired of it, jaded, and down right bored.  Well that has kind of been my mind set lately.  I am not sure what it is really, some blame it on Mercury being in retrograde, and I do buy into that a bit, but who knows.  After a while of just being down right burned out on wine, something eventually comes along to break you out of the malaise.  In this case, it came in the form of one of the most affordable, yet impressive wines, that I have come across recently.  I am talking about the wines of Puglia organic wine producer Natalino del Prete.

It all started with a bottle of their astonishingly well price ($12.49!) Torre Nova that I discovered via Chambers Street Wines.  The “Torre Nova” Salice Salentino Rosso from Natalino del Prete still stands as the best deal going for 2011.  If a wine can have that much character at that price, what would their more high end bottlings offer?  And by high end standards, the pricing ain’t high at all.  Try $15.99 for their “Nataly” Primitivo del Salento and their “Anne” Negroamaro.  That’s the top end my friends.  Did I mention the estate has been certified organic since 1994 too?!  What a refreshing breath of air to find affordable organic character driven wines at these crazy good prices.

The wines hail from Puglia, and they are not shy.  They can carry fairly high alcohol levels (~13%-15%), are robust, a touch rustic at times, but have great depth and persistent character reflecting their origin.  In other words, though strong in character they are also very transparent.  And while all the wines I have tried from del Prete seem to be drinking just fine now, I believe they also have the stuffing to age a bit too, and should prove interesting if you can wait.  There is very little information out their on the wines of Natalino del Prete.  No website, and no presence on their importer’s website either (Louis/Dressner).  A shame really as these are wines for the people.

Natalino del Prete 2010 “Nataly” Primitivo del Salento – $15.99

I am not sure if this is 2009 (as Chambers Street’s label states) or 2010 (as the wine label states), but I am going to go with 2010.  Either way, this crimson/purple hued Primitivo opens with violets and spiced earth and plum skin.  With air it further reveals anise and kirsch liquor notes as well.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Natalino del Prete 2009 “Anne” Negroamaro – $15.99

Looks are sanguine and smells are purple.  Spiced and extracted purple fruits.  Plum skin, cocoa, and cracked pepper.  Red fruits emerge, and I think the price of the wine(s) belies the overall quality.  The wine is young and forward and delicious.  Would love to put a few years on it and compare it to an Aglianico/Taurasi offering.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED