One of my favorite things about wine in general and red wine particular is that it, more than any other beverage of the *ahem* “spiritual” type, is contains great character. In fact, if there is one aspect of this drink that I think is a hallmark, aside from the actual chemical properties and taste differences, it would be this and nowhere is this more evident than in this wondrous grape from Sicily, the Nero d’Avola. “Nero”, in this case, refers not to the emperor, but to the black hue of this grape, which is called the most important grape in all of Italy and is one of the more prominent indigenous ones. In my view, it is not too distant from Syrah, which is, as noted repeatedly here in the HSC, one of my favorites.
Here we have a study almost of contrasts, which manifests itself in a bit of astringency, but soaking up all that sun in Sicily also imbues it with a smoothness and depth of taste that counters that nicely. Perhaps this wine is a metaphor for the sun itself, where gravity does battle with the force of millions upon millions of energy discharges from fusion to keep it functioning with just the right levels so it doesn’t fall in on itself or give rise to a supernova, either of which would make this column and everything else on our spectacularly colored planet academic.
Apocalyptic visions aside, for the price point, this is a very difficult wine to beat, as is nearly every other entry on this list from Italy, the south of which, including Sicily is itself still my most favorite wine-producing region. This is a gorgeous wine and since evidently this is the column where I wax metaphoric, if Sophia Loren were a wine, I’d imagine she would look like this one: deep, rich, full-bodies, at once both sweet and wild, subtly refined at times, beautiful, burgundy…actually, maybe not that last one for Ms. Loren, but definitely for this wine.
I’ve never seen it on SPA, but at the fairly moderate price this usually is at normally, it’s still a tremendous value. Lately, it’s been a bit difficult to come by, so I suspect that others have discovered this gem. This is a very strong entry and always enjoyable and by my accounting, a Standard.