Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nero d'Avola

Nero d’Avola is the grape with the highest quality potential of Sicily. It is also known "Calabrese," suggesting origins in Calabria on the mainland. It also may be, according to another theory, an 'italianization' of the ancient vernacular name of Nero d'Avola, being 'Calaurisi,' which literally means 'coming from Avola'. This “black grape of Avola, a wine-growing village in Southeastern Sicily, was added to many European wines to give added color and weight. Today it is very well known as the main grape of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a DOCG (appellation), and is also making a name for itself as a varietal, as indigenous grapes are coming back into vogue, replacing the ubiquitous (and highly competitive market for) Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nero d’Avola wines are easy going. They are delicious straight out of the gate, with fragrant, ripe black cherry, blueberry and violet notes. Judiciously oaked, the wines become softer, sleeker, and rounder. In general the wines are described as vibrant and richly fruited with a firm core of acidity despite the warm origin. The more traditional styles age well.

COS Pithos Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily (Italy)
Valle del Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily (Italy)
La Lumia Torreforte Nero d'Avola IGT, Sicily (Italy)
Tyndaris Nero d’Avola, Sicily (Italy)
Tenuta di Donnafugata Sedara Nero d’Avola, Sicily (Italy)
Settesoli Nero d’Avola, Sicily (Italy)

Best Value
Arancio Nero d'Avola, Sicily (Italy)
Cusumano Nero d'Avola, Sicily (Italy)
Gulfi Nero d'Avola Rossojbleo, Sicily (Italy)
Regaleali Nero d'Avola IGT, Sicily (Italy)
Valle del Acate Poggio Bidini Nero d' Avola, Sicily (Italy)
Chiarito Vineyard  Nero d’Avola, Ukiah Valley, Mendocino (USA)

© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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