G’day guys and welcome to another Italian wine and this is one I’ve been pushing on people since the day I tried it. To date I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite wine between this and a Granite Belt.
I usually try to avoid writing about plonk I already know I like. After all, why limit yourself to the same vin over and over again when you know there are hundreds of other kinds undiscovered. But I don’t see why if I like something why I shouldn’t share this with others. Since, after all, this is what this site is all about. But it does make writing a long enough article about it difficult since nothing will come as a surprise. This was the first native Italian wine I ever had, since obviously Merlot is known for being from Bordeaux, even if it is made everywhere here included, so that twenty-fourteen Zonin didn’t count. Nero d’Avola, pronounced “nero-da-vola”, loosely translated to “the black grape of Avola” is exclusive to the island of Sicily, the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Originally the grapes grew in a small part of the southern tip of the island, cut forward to the present day, the grapevine has spread throughout Sicily at the hand of wineries. Due to the vine’s tolerance and taste for hot, dry climates as well as Sicily, Nero d’Avola is also cultivated internationally in wineries in California, and even here in Australia. Today’s label, Feudo Principi di Butera (try saying that five times fast) lies in the Caltanissetta region in the mid-southern gulf of Sicily. The label owns three-hundred-twenty hectares of land for grapevines in the soil of Caltanissetta, ranging in texture in elevation from sandstone higher up in the rolling hills, to more clay soil lower back towards sea level. Bathed in the sun of the Mediterranean, and the cooling sea breeze. The hot, dry, well ventilated climate minimizes problems that haunt the wine trade further north in the cooler climate, like mildew and vine rot. In nineteen-ninety-seven the label was purchased by Zonin, the Italian wine giant, and the label grew under its newfound financial stability.
So the bottle, as you may have worked out by this point by my difficulty photographing it (and those were my best ones, those pictures aren’t overexposed that’s just what it looks like outside at this time of year) is essentially all black. The labels being grey. The bottle is especially traditional, the long thin bottleneck complete with a proper real cork instead of a cap. As I screw into the cork, I think back on the last bottle of Nero d’Avola I had. The nose was a beautiful bouquet of floral aromas, full of roses in bloom, like a nursery. That was the last bottle I had anyway, this bottle is the one I’ll be writing about. I uncork the bottle, the nose is subdue, a deep silk of violet, a note of licorice. Not what I remember, so I pour a small glass. The wine pours a dark purple hue, the nose now that budding bouquet of floral nose I remember and raved about all over town. Like the nicest of gardens. And the taste, savoury and sweet, dry with a subtle spice. So I have a sip, and have my dinner while the glass breathes and I come back and the wine has become very open and fruity. Full of tastes of strawberry and black licorice. Exquisite. A full glass displays all these properties openly, a candy fruity vein of dark vin.
In closing: My only regret towards this wine is I have only ever drank a vintage a few years old, I can only imagine the improvement a ten year old Nero d’Avola would possess. I’ve always endorsed this wine, and today is no exception. Savor.