Wine of the quarter

19.12.17

Vineyard in Sicily

The bottle we are tasting today is 100% Nero d’avola. Special guest Mr. Maurizio Fasce (left), Regional Director Mediterranean & Southern Africa Headquarters with Mr. Virgilio Gazzolo.

Part 3: Nero d´Avola

Nero d'Avola is one of the most renowned red grape varieties grown indigenously in Sicily.

The Nero d’Avola vine variety was imported by Greeks during their stay on the island; the "low-lying" training was also brought into use by them. Typically trained in espalier or tree fashion.

For the last ten years, wines made up of Nero d'Avola are being exported throughout the world; the wine makes them robust and full-bodied; the higher percentage of Nero d’Avola, the stronger and richer the wine will be.

For its typical qualities Nero d’Avola is used to cut light- to medium-weight wines, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nero d'Avola is found as an ingredient in various D.O.C. and I.G.T. wines, either as main wine or blended wine: Eloro, Marsala, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Bivongi, Sciacca, S. Margherita di Belice, Contea di Sclafani, Delia Nivonelli, Sambuca di Sicilia, Contessa Entellina, Alcamo.

As a whole, each area of origin within Sicily’s production has its own distinctive features: the Western area is marked by a higher concentration, harshness and toughness; the central area is denoted by a sharp taste of red fruits, and the Eastern area provides a more refined taste, with an aftertaste of dried fruits.

Many winemakers have recently started producing wines by blending Nero d’Avola with other wines marked by a more internationalized taste and ob-taining such blends as Nero d’Avola-Syrah, Nero d’Avola-Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola-Merlot, with truly refined and exotic results.

The growing area

The Nero d'Avola varietal is traditionally grown in the borough of Avola, a town located in the province of Siracusa, with evidence dating back to the 15th century. In particular, this region is characterized by a mild climate in winter as well, partly due to the Monti Iblei, mountains shielding the area from north and
north-west winds.

The tannin in Nero d’Avola is high, but not as high as wines like Barolo.

Acidity in wine ranges from the tartness of a lemon to the creaminess of greek yogurt. With Nero d’Avola you can expect moderately high acidity, but not so tart that the wine tastes overly spicy.

Alcohol level not only determines the level of booziness but also greatly affects the wine’s body. Nero d’Avola typically range from 13.5%–14.5% ABV, which would put them exactly in the “Medium Plus” category–pretty bold!

With its bold fruit flavors, robust tannin and acidity, Nero d’Avola is a great wine to match with rich meaty meals. Some classic pairings include oxtail soup and beef stew, but you could easily swap BBQ burgers with bacon and everyone will think you’re a genius. The gamier the meat the better because it will simply make your wine taste more fruity and candy-like.

The Nero d’Avola wine pairs perfectly with:

  • Roasted and grilled red meat
  • Roasted and grilled white meat
  • Grilled tuna fis
  • Sweet and sour rabbit

The bottle we are tasting today is 100% Nero d’avola. Intensely ruby-red in color with aromas of cherry and black-berry, followed by spice notes of charcoal, vanilla and black pepper. On the palate, bursting flavors of ripe fruit and exotic spice are balanced by pleasant acidity and silky tannis.

Enjoy!

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact our colleague in Italy!

Mr. Virgilio Gazzolo
General Manager Marketing & Sales Italy
Phone (+39 010) 2497 214
virgilio.gazzolo@hartrodt.com