New Release: 2013 Nero D’Avola (Madera)
Also known as Calabrese, Nero D’Avola is an indigenous Sicilian grape originally cultivated by the ancient Greeks in Sicily and Calabria. The varietal takes its name from the southern Sicilian town of Avola and yields a voluptuous wine with subtle tartness, generous tannins and earthiness. Frequently, fresh picked cherries accompanies its ruby color. Somewhat surprisingly, the island of Sicily is Italy’s largest wine producing region encompassing greater than 10,000 square miles, roughly 1,000 more than Tuscany, itself a fairly large region.
The eastern region of Sicily, including Mt. Etna which rises 3.600 feet above sea level is its most prestigious wine producing region. Vittoria, located in the southeast province of Ragusa is known for Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of Nero D’Avola and Frappato and is Sicily’s only DOCG (Italy’s highest wine classification) designation. In addition, Noto, located in the southeast province of Siracusa, is an extremely hot area with low annual rainfall making it an ideal growing region for Nero D’Avola.
This is our very first vintage of Nero D’Avola and my first exposure working with this particular varietal. The fruit was sourced through Papagni Winery in Madera, California and to our knowledge we are the only other winery in California that produces Nero D’Avola. Possessing relatively small tight clustered berries which were quite clean (except for the pruning shears we found in the field bin!) the fruit completed primary fermentation in open top field bins in 10 days and secondary fermentation in 28 days.
The finished wine was barreled down in 225 liter medium toast Hungarian oak barriques for 12 months. Relatively low pH early on required a single addition of potassium carbonate to adjust and barrel aging was completely uneventful. The wine is garnet in color and expresses itself with chocolate covered cherries, bitter chocolate, hints of vanilla and fresh ripe red fruit on the nose. Subtle dusty earthiness and medium-medium plus tannins are quite soft despite only 12 months of barrel aging. Balanced structure and medium acidity allow a smooth red fruit lingering finish. Enjoy over the next 2-4 years.
Winemaker’s Notes: pH 3.56, TA 6 g/L, Residual Sugar 0.9 g/100 ml, VA 0.79 g/L, Abv 14.2%, Cases produced: 49
Available April 2018.