Showing posts with label Italian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

An Italian Red Wine For The BBQ

Frescobaldi's Calimaia Vina Nobile 2019 is a Tuscan wine, made with Sangiovese grapes grown in the Montepulciano region. The Frescobaldi folks say that the Calimaia vineyards are nestled between two beautiful locations, Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia. They also say that the wine fits well into the summer barbecue season, since the wine's flavors pair well with beef, pork and barbecue sauce, especially the sweet variety. 

The makeup is 90% Sangiovese grapes, known locally as Prignolo Gentile. The remainder of the wine is described as "complementary red grapes." The wine was vinified in steel tanks before spending two full years in oak barrels. Alcohol rests at 14% abv and the sticker on the bottle reads $25.

This wine is a medium-dark ruby red color in the glass. The nose is quite aromatic, loaded with ripe red fruit and spicy oak notes. Cherry and clove lead the way, with sage, mocha and anise also making appearances. The palate is juicy and fruity. The tannins are firm, yet smooth as the sip goes down. A hint of mocha makes me want it with barbecue. 


Monday, June 3, 2024

A Wine Bargain At Whole Foods

The 2022 Gran Conti Montepulciano d'Abruzzo  is one of those bargain wines that turns up nearly everywhere in online searches, but very little actual information seems to surface. I wrote about their Sangiovese last year, and I recently stumbled upon this wine from a different part of Italy.

The Gran Conti has a manageable alcohol level of 13% abv and a more than reasonable price, $8 at my local Whole Foods Market.

This wine is very dark colored. It has a nose that displays an abundance of black fruit - plums, blackberries - and savory notes of tobacco and earth. On the palate, there is the aforementioned dark fruit, with a healthy tannic grip and a lengthy finish. I had it with a cheeseburger and it was a good fit. I also used it to make short ribs, which worked well, too. 


Monday, May 27, 2024

Soave Classico For Pasta Primavera

Italian food calls for Italian wine, in my book at least. I usually end up having some kind of lovely Sangiovese-based wine with my tomato sauce and pasta. Sangiovese generally goes into the sauce, too, which helps the pairing. Recently I made a pasta primavera with way too much butter and way too much cream. I happened to have a wine on hand that balanced the meal for me. Not a Sangiovese, though. Soave Classico.

Soave Classico is quite a different wine from Soave. The Classico region of the Soave DOC has a higher altitude and a volcanic aspect to the soil, which is imparted into the Garganega (90%) and Trebbiano (10%) grapes of the 2022 Villa Molino Soave Classico. The wine is much better than the label, which features a picnic basket and a cute little dog who is packing the wine in his saddlebags. Alcohol hits only 12% abv and the bottle can be had for less than $10 at Trader Joe's.

This wine has a golden yellow color in the glass. The nose is highly aromatic, with citrus minerals, apricot and a lanolin note competing for attention. The palate is brisk and full, showing Meyer lemon, guava and a hint of pineapple, all laced with a streak of salinity. The acidity is fresh, but not ripping. The long finish has a sense of apricot outlasting all the other flavors. It's a great wine for sipping, but it paired quite nicely with my way too creamy pasta primavera. 


Friday, May 17, 2024

Hard Pass On The Pasta - I'll Take The Olive Oil

I recently had the opportunity to sample a very nice Italian wine, Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco. I loved it. Along with that, I was given a sample of a couple of Frescobaldi's other ventures. Their Tirrena pasta and the accompanying Laudemio Frescobaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil receive a more mixed review.

The Tirrena pasta is cultivated from ancient wheat grown in the Tuscan terroir. The olive oil has a rich history which dates back to the Middle Ages. The folks at Tirrena sent along a recipe using both of those items. 


RECIPE

Tirrena Spaghetti with Laudemio Frescobaldi Oil, Pepper, and Parmesan (pairs with Pomino Bianco)

Ingredients
Tirrena Spaghetti
Laudemio Frescobaldi EVOO
Parmigiano Reggiano
Black Pepper
Salt

Process
Boil water and add salt to taste
Add the Tirrena Spaghetti and boil for 11 minutes
Reserve 1 cup of pasta water 
Drain spaghetti and add back to a saucepan
Mix in Laudemio Frescobaldi EVOO and stir until creamy
Top with black pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano

Now for the bad news. The pasta was nothing to write home about, especially for my spousal culinary expert. She was quick and brief with her review. "I hate it," she said after the first mouthful. "It ruined your fantastic sauce!" She had the pasta with my famous tomato sauce (her recipe). I had mine as per the recipe above, and it paired wonderfully with the Pomino Bianco wine. I stirred in the Parmesan cheese along with some pepper. 

If you cook this pasta for 11 minutes, as prescribed, you will be eating crunchy spaghetti. I cooked it for 18 minutes and it was still rather al dente. The oil was delightful, however. 

Is there such a thing as simply virgin olive oil? Extra virgin seems to be all I could find in a semi-serious search. I ask in all seriousness, although the question probably points out a deficiency in my kitchen knowledge. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Kosher Cab From Italy

People who are looking for kosher wines should look into the lines offered by the Royal Wine Corporation. They import wines to the U.S. from all over the world and produce wines at their winery in Southern California. They have been in business for 175 years, dating back eight generations to their beginning in Europe. Their wines are top quality, as I have found through tasting a number of their bottlings through the years.

The Lovatelli line sources grapes from up and down Italy’s iconic wine regions. There's a new Primitivo from Salento and a Barbera d'Asti in addition to this fine Nebbiolo from Piedmont's Monferrato D.O.C. They also make two vermouths. Their wines are kosher for Passover and are mevushal. The 2022  Lovatelli Monferrato D.O.C. Nebbiolo has alcohol at 13% abv and a retail price of $25.

This wine is medium dark in the glass. Its nose has notes of blue and red berries joined by an earthy sense of tar, cigars and cardamom. The wine actually strikes me more like a Pinot Noir than a Nebbiolo, with a palate that shows slight hints of tea and coffee. The tannins are firm and the wine is quite enjoyable, if not completely correct varietally. 


Monday, March 25, 2024

Bargain Primitivo On The Bottom Shelf

The bottom shelf of the wine aisle at your grocer is probably not a good place to find a wine you'll love and want to share with guests. It can, however, be a good place to find an everyday wine, or one with which you can cook.

The bottom shelf is where I found Grifone Primitivo at Trader Joe's. For a store which features so many rock-bottom prices on wine, it is worth noting that they do a fine job of curating those shelves, from top to bottom.

Grifone is made from 100% Primitivo grapes, grown in Puglia, in the heel of Italy's boot. In case you are unfamiliar with the Primitivo grape, it is the same as the Zinfandel grape. It just has an Italian name. Alcohol is reasonably light at 13% abv and the price is only $5 at Trader Joe's

This wine is dark ruby in the glass and offers a beautiful nose that is full of dark fruit aromas and a good bit of oak. Tar also appears, adding a very earthy angle to the bouquet. On the palate, big, jammy blackberry, blueberry and cassis flavors are joined together by oak spice and a healthy dose of tannins. Despite the oak mentions, the wine tastes clean and fresh. The winery recommends pairing it with aged cheeses. I like it with spaghetti and meatballs. I used the wine in my sauce.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

White Tuscan Wine Two Ways

If you have never heard of the Pomino Bianco DOC in Italy's Tuscany region, you should get acquainted now. Then you'll be ready for spring and summer with a white wine that'll knock everyone's socks off. Of course, if the weather is warm enough, they may be off already.

The two wines I was given the opportunity to sample are from Frescobaldi. They note that the Pomino Bianco DOC is one of the areas of Tuscany most suited to white wine production. Altitudes reach 2300 feet up against the Apennine Mountains, and those lofty vines produce highly refined and elegant white wine blends.

The Frescobaldi 2022 Pomino Bianco is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, with splashes of the region's complimentary grapes. The wine was aged partly in oak, partly in steel, which allows complexity while maintaining freshness. 

The 2022 vintage was a long one, with an early budbreak and summertime temperatures starting in May. Alcohol sits at 12.5% abv and the retail sticker reads $21. 

This wine has a light golden tint to it. The nose is fully aromatic with minerals, white fruit and a salinity that runs through the entire experience. The palate is chock full of minerals, too, along with green apple and light citrus notes. The acidity is fresh and lively while a slight trace of oak adds depth. The finish is medium long and highlights the grapefruit aspect of the palate. 

The Frescobaldi Benefizio 2021 Pomino Bianco Riserva is a Chardonnay that was aged completely in French oak barrels. When it was first produced, in 1973, it was the first white wine in Italy to be fermented and aged in barriques. The wood is 50% new and 50% second use. Alcohol is a bit higher than the previous wine, clocking in at 13.5% abv. The list price is $35.

This wine also has a nice yellow tint and a nose that shows the restrained use of oak. The aromas also have an earthy salinity about them, with a fruity undercurrent draped in apple, almond and dried apricot notes. On the palate, there is a more noticeable oak effect, but still within reason. The mouthfeel is full, while the acidity is bracing. It is a savory wine which brings the fruit almost apologetically. Delicious, and a great match for dishes from seafood to chicken to pork. Anything with a creamy sauce will pair beautifully with the Benefizio Riserva. 


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Monday, March 11, 2024

Another Classic From Chianti Classico

If Chianti still makes you think of a lackluster table wine more valuable for the straw-encased bottle that contains it, you should sample some wines from that Italian region, especially from the subregion known as Chianti Classico.  There's not a straw basket to be found.  No candle wax drippings down the side of the bottle, either.  

Ruffino has been around for years.  Here's the way they tell their story: "In 1877 when cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve near Florence, the region already had a centuries-old tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes.  Even so, the two Tuscan natives felt certain that much of the area's greatness had yet to be revealed.  Tuscany had been heaped with good fortune: mineral-laden soils, the cooling influence of the Mediterranean Sea, the dry summers that wine grapes favor.  And all those luscious, sun-drenched hills."

Ruffino was one of the first major wineries with vineyard estates in Italy's three most renowned wine-producing regions – Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

The Riserva Ducale was first released by Ruffino in 1927, and it only gets released in vintages that are deemed special.  This Chianti Classico wine is named to honor the Duke of Aosta, who traversed the Alps to try the Ruffino wines.  He liked them so much he named Ruffino as the official wine of the Italian royal family.

The Ruffino website claims that this wine was aged for 24 months in oak, stainless steel and concrete gates, but the label says it was 36 months. An additional three months of bottle aging took place. Oro is mostly estate-grown Sangiovese, with 10% Merlot and 5% Colorino, which is used basically to color the wine darker. Alcohol sits at 14.5% abv and it cost me $35 at a hotel gift shop. That seems to be about the going price online, too. 

This wine is colored dark purple, almost inky. The nose is wonderful, with an earthiness leading the way for plum, cherry and tar. The palate is loaded with dark fruit, earth and black pepper. The tannins are fairly smooth, but they work well against a Bolognese sauce. There is a nice acidity and a wonderful herbal finish. 


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cooking With Aglianico

The 2021 Epicuro Aglianico was produced by the D'Aquino family. The brand is not listed on their website, so this may be a second label from the maker. I remember reading someone's opinion, years ago, that Epicuro was a good cheap wine to look for. 

The grapes came from southern Italy's Puglia region. Alcohol tips only 13% abv and my bottle cost $7 at Trader Joe's. I always use an Italian wine in my pasta sauce, and this Aglianico gave the sauce a dark richness that I had never found before. 

This wine has a medium-dark purple color in the glass. The nose is somewhat muted, but a good sniff will find some blackberry and blueberry aromas with a strong rustic sensibility. The flavors are certainly not shy about coming forward. Very dark fruit comes forth right away. A bit of oak spice makes itself known, but does not overwhelm. The tannins are firm and the acidity is refreshing. This is a full and juicy wine, with a finish that lingers awhile.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A Classic From Chianti Classico

The Sangiovese grapes for the 2020 Il Grigio da San Felice Riserva Chianti Classico were grown at the San Felice estate vineyard in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena. That is the part of Chianti Classico where it is said the wines are the ripest and richest in the region. 

It was a mild winter in the 2020 vintage, but a freeze in the spring lowered the yield of the Sangiovese grapes. Lower yield means higher concentration, so all was not lost.  

Most of the wine achieved malolactic fermentation in steel tanks before being transferred to Slovenian oak casks for a 24-month aging period. The remaining 20% went into smaller French oak barriques. The wine aged for three months in the bottle to justify its riserva status. The label art shows a painting by Titian of a knight in armor who was instrumental in a Siena military victory. Alcohol for Il Grigio hits 13.9% abv and the retail price sits just a bit below the $28 mark. 

This wine has a dark purple color and a complex nose. Aromas of black cherry, violets, anise, clove, leather and earth are plentiful in the bouquet. The palate offers a medium mouthfeel with great acidity and firm tannins. The fruit flavors are carried along by the more savory aspects of the profile. It is a wine which would love a pairing with a steak or a pork chop, or with a meaty stew. 


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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Big Enjoyment From Cheap Lambrusco

Notte Rosso is likely found on the bottom shelf of your grocer's wine aisle. It's an inexpensive wine, but is it a bargain wine? We'll find out here and now. 

The Notte Rosso winery is located in In Salento, in Italy's Puglia region, in the area known as Primitivo di Manduria. The Notte Rosso Lambrusco, however, is from the Emilia region, in Italy's north. The wine has a very low alcohol content of 7.5% abv and generally sells for less than $10.

This wine colors up a medium garnet in the glass. The nose is rather muted, but offers a blackberry aroma draped in an earthy note. It's a slightly fizzy wine with a palate that shows dark blue fruit and a hint of coffee. It is not a particularly complex sip, but it is rather pleasant. The label has a meter pointing to "sweet," but it does not come off that way to me. I would call it off-dry, if anyone were to ask me. 


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Monday, January 29, 2024

A Classic From Chianti Classico

San Felice is an Italian winemaking company which is located in the Chianti Classico area of Tuscany. Their history includes the fact that they were on the leading edge of the development of the Super Tuscan style, decades ago.

Their 2021 Chianti Classico comes from the rolling hills of the Castelnuovo Berardenga area in Chianti Classico. The sandy soil soaked in minerals is good for growing Sangiovese grapevines. San Felice winemaker Leonardo Bellacini is right at home here, since he has worked with that grape variety through much of his career. The wine has 12% abv and sells for less than $20. 

This medium ruby wine smells of black cherry, coffee, mocha and a hint of eucalyptus peeking through. The palate is weighted medium, with dark red fruit flavors mingling among the oak spices. The wood is not overplayed, however. I can taste clove, cinnamon, allspice, anise and oregano in here, yet the feeling is very fresh and lively. I'm usually not a pizza-and-wine guy, but this one goes well with a slice of cheese and black olives. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Gimme A Gavi

People don't give wine importers enough credit for what they do. The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us. Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  

Mack and Schühle are Miami-based importers who find great wine and pass it along at a fair price. Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office about a decade ago. They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

Mack and Schuhle say that Riva Leone was a "man of unique character and personality who was an ambassador for the special wines of the Langhe all throughout Europe in the early 20th Century." They are proud to help carry his legacy in wines which they say "uphold the winemaking traditions of Piedmont for a new generation of wine lovers across the world."

The 2021 Riva Leone Gavi DOCG is made from 100% Cortese grapes which were grown in the village of Gavi and vinified in stainless steel tanks, where the wine was aged for a few months before bottling. The limestone soil gives big minerals to the wine's nose and palate.

This wine is very lightly tinted, a mellow yellow-green hue. The nose shows plenty of minerals, housed in beautiful citrus notes - lime and tangerine, mainly. The plate is just as laden with minerals. There is a strong streak of salinity which runs through the sip and a very fresh acidity. The finish lingers with those lime notes hanging in there the longest. 


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Monday, January 15, 2024

A Piedmont Barbera We Can Afford To Drink Every Night

People sometimes don't give wine importers enough credit for what they do. The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us. Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  

Miami-based importer Mack and Schühle find great wine and pass it along at a fair price. Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office about a decade ago. They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

Mack and Schuhle say that Riva Leone was a "man of unique character and personality who was an ambassador for the special wines of the Langhe all throughout Europe in the early 20th Century." They are proud to help carry his legacy in wines which they say "uphold the winemaking traditions of Piedmont for a new generation of wine lovers across the world."

The 2021 Riva Leone Piemonte Barbera 2021 was vinified in steel tanks, where the wine achieved malolactic fermentation. It was then aged for 12 months in American and French oak. The wine's alcohol level sits comfortably at 13% abv and it sells for a mere $12. 

This wine is medium dark garnet in color. The nose is full of brambly cherry and raspberry aromas laced with spice and oak. The palate is fruity and spicy with a generous supply of tannic grip. A long finish carries a bit of sweetness along after the sip. Great with a meat sauce pasta or with sweet Italian sausages. 


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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Sweet Italian Bubbles From Asti

Wine importers do not get enough credit for what they do. The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us. Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  

Mack and Schühle are Miami-based importers who find great wine and pass it along at a fair price. Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office a bit more than a decade ago. They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

One fun member of their portfolio is the Acquesi Asti DOCG Sparkling Wine. The Moscato grapes for this bubbly were grown in Asti, in Italy's Piedmont region. The distributor relates the winery's description of the locale like this:

"The vineyards are located on the hilly ridge that goes from Alice Bel Colle to Santo Stefano Belbo passing through the amazing hills of Ricaldone, located at an altitude between 250 and 400 meters above sea level. A large part of the soils that give life to our Cuvée are characterized by light limestone marl while the minority part has a strong sandy component. The different microclimates affected by this selection of musts offer a complete photograph of the expressions of the native aromatic varieties."

Sounds like a beautiful place. I'm ready for a visit. Winemaker Daniele Astegiano produced this sparkler to 7% abv and it retails for $18.

This wine has bubbles galore, for a minute or so. A huge, white, frothy head pours up and hangs around a bit before dissipating. The nose is a beauty, full of ripe peaches, apples, pears and nectarines. The palate is just as sweet, maybe sweeter. It's not exactly a dessert wine, but it  certainly would do in a pinch. The pairing with dessert is a natural, as is its more reserved role with Asian food or sushi. 


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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Sweet Wine From Sicily For The Holidays Or Anytime

The holidays are a great time for dessert wines. The festivities just seem to shine a little brighter with a sweet wine in your glass, which is why I always try to have a few, at least. If you missed your chance at holiday sweets, there is another opportunity on the way. We call it Valentine's Day. 

One of the finest sweeties I have had was from the Sicilian producer Donnafugata. Donnafugata produces wines from a number of vineyards across the island on their estates in Contessa Entellina, Pantelleria, Vittoria and Etna. The historical family cellars in Marsala serve as a center for innovation. 

The iconic 2021 Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria is a sweet, complex, and aromatic wine made of 100% Muscat of Alexandria grapes, also known as Zibibbo. Passito is the style of wine made from dried grapes. Why call this wine Ben Ryé? The name comes from the Arabic term for "Son of the Wind." The wind always seems to be sweeping around the grape vines on the island of Pantelleria.

The wine was aged for eight months in oak and at least a year in the bottle before being released for sale. Alcohol sits at 14.5% abv and the price is $46 for the 375 ml bottle.

This white dessert wine has a most beautiful, rich-looking copper color. The nose is just as enticing, with big aromas of orange candy and dried apricots. The palate is a sheer delight. It is sweet enough to be dessert on its own, but has enough acidity to pair with your favorite after-dinner sweets or a selection of cheeses. It is pricy, but it is an experience that can be savored. 


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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Kosher Barbera D'Asti

People who are looking for kosher wines should look into the lines offered by the Royal Wine Corporation. They import wines to the U.S. from all over the world and produce wines at their winery in Southern California. They have been in business for 175 years, dating back eight generations to their beginning in Europe. Their wines are top quality, as I have found through tasting a number of their bottlings through the years.

Royal's Director of PR and Manager of Wine Education Gabriel Geller says that this year "brings an abundance of exciting releases to complement every course" of holiday meals.

Geller says that the newly arrived Lovatelli wines are a treat. The line from Piemonte includes a Primitivo ($16.99), a Barbera d’Asti ($24.99), and an Orbaio Rosso blend ($29.99), as well as two vermouths ($24.99). The Lovatelli Barbera D’Asti clocks in with alcohol at 14% abv. It is mevushal. 

This wine is quite dark in the glass, almost indigo with a violet hue around the rim. The nose is heavy with black fruit - plums, blackberries, black raspberries. The palate is loaded with those fruit flavors, as well as savory notes of earth, leather, cigar and allspice. The tannins are firm and ready for a steak. The acidity is mouthwatering. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

An Italian Red From The Heel Of The Boot

The Susumaniello grape is a rarity. It is found growing only in the southern reaches of Italy, in Apulia, Puglia, the "heel of the boot" if you are looking at Italy on a map. It is a grape which is usually used for blending, but this bottling offers a full varietal version of it.

The 2021 Ruggero di Bardo Susumaniello came from Trader Joe's in a squatty bottle. As with many of the wines I have tried from that store, it is surprisingly good. Maybe I should stop being surprised after shopping at TJ's for decades. 

There is not a lot of information out there about this wine, or at least I didn't find much. It is reportedly aged in both steel tanks and oak barrels and it definitely shows the oak effect, although not to distraction. Alcohol sits at 4.5% abv and the bottle costs $12.

This wine is as dark as ink in the glass. It smells dark, too, with notes of black cherry, blackberry, clove, cinnamon, forest floor and hints of vanilla and cedar. The palate is bold and fruity, with cherry flavors hitting the tongue first. The sweet oak spice is enjoyable, not overdone. Tannins are firm and the wine has a good tannic grip. The overall feeling of sweetness is beautiful, but don’t expect a dessert wine. This is a truly enjoyable red wine at a truly affordable price. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Mixing Wine And Fashion

The Donnafugata winery was founded in 1983 by Giacomo Rallo, but there were three generations of winemaking experience before him. A fifth is now helping to create quality wines from five estates of Sicily.

The winery is thrilled by their partnership with the fashion boutique Dolce & Gabbana. Donnafugata has no problem expanding their reach from wine into fashion, just as they have done with art and music.

The 2019 Donnafugata Dolce & Gabbana Tancredi was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola and Tannat grapes. The wine came from the Terre Siciliane IGT. Aging took place over 12 months in oak and three years in the bottle. Alcohol hits 14.2% abv and it retails for $48.

The wine is very dark. The nose is quite expressive, with bright blackberry and blueberry aromas drifting in and out of oak spice and wonderful notes of licorice, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate, dark fruit bursts forth, with notes of tobacco, spice and earth playing supporting roles. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

From Sicily With Nero D'Avola

The Donnafugata winery was founded in 1983 by Giacomo Rallo, but there were three generations of winemaking experience before him. A fifth is now helping to create quality wines from five estates of Sicily.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the first and only red wine in Sicily which has DOCG status. It is made from Nero d'Avola and Frappato grapes, vinified in steel tanks and aged there for eight months before maturing for another 10 months in the bottle.

The Donnafugata website describes the front label art as "a fantastic figure of a woman who is giving the gift of … flowers and fruits." It is a lovely and eye-catching illustration to go with the lovely wine inside the bottle.

This wine is medium tinted in a violet hue. It sports a nose of raspberry, but the fruit is just about covered up by a savory blanket. There is a strong earthy element to the aroma package, and even a bit of barnyard funk. The palate is quite dark - black raspberry, blackberry, bramble - with an extremely savory aspect. It is a very tasty wine, the acidity is dead-on perfect, and the tannins are firm, so it will pair well with your meaty dishes or pizza.