Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sicilian Nero D'Avola Wine

From the hillsides around Marsala comes a wine that makes me think of a California Pinot Noir, only, you know, Italian.  The Villa Pozzi Nero d'Avola is sold under a corporate umbrella - Deutsch Family - but made by a guy with wine for blood.

Wine goes back a ways in Sicily, about 1500 years.  Wine also runs in the Pozzi family.  Owner and winemaker Daniele Pozzi runs it back to his great-grandfather Angelo, and his grandfather Fausto, and his dad Val. 

Nero d'Avola is a grape variety that’s indigenous to Siciliy. It's known as "the king of Sicilian grapes," in fact.  Pozzi hails the 2016 vintage as a great one, with near-perfect growing conditions that produced what he calls his best-ever Nero d'Avola.  The deep color in this wine comes after a full 15 days of contact with the skins.  The rich flavor is all thanks to the Nero d'Avola grapes - the wine is finished in stainless steel, not oak, so the fruit is given full expression.  The wine hits a reasonable 13% abv and, incredibly, sells online for under ten bucks.

This wine is dark in color and smells of black fruit, earth and tar.  There's a tartness on the palate that is more reminiscent of Pinot Noir, but with the weight of Syrah.  Blackberries, plums and pepper are in the forefront, with the tart darkness lingering after the sip.  The tannins are easy-going.

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