Today we explore the Old World to see what is on offer. I have tried a number of Italian wines before, but none yet from Sicily and the Nero D’Avola varietal was new to me, so once again I was faced with a fresh experience, not really knowing what to expect.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Ruby
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium+
- Tannin: Low
- Alcohol: Medium+
- Body: Medium-
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium
- Quality: Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential for ageing
- Identity: Italy / Sicily / Nero D’Avola
- Price: High-priced ($22.99)
- Long, fast tears
- Nero D’Avola – indigenous to Sicily
- Aromas of ripe plum, cranberry, rose, confectionery, powdery (?)
- Flavors of blackberry, sour cherry, blueberry…
- Not much tannin, but powdery/fine
- High acid/low tannin → Food wine
- Pasta, meat, pizza
I did have some expectations however. The Italian wines I have had before were quite bold. Being in a Mediterranean climate, one could possibly expect a riper fruit profile. And it was still relatively young, barely two years in the bottle, so those more developed, ageing characteristics shouldn’t be expected.
So there was some mild surprise when I poured my first glass. Almost pale as a Pinot Noir, similar to the Feteascã Neagrã from Romania I had tried previously. In the end I revised my choice to Medium intensity, but I’m still unsure. On the nose it was quite pleasant and textural, but nothing really outstanding.
What did surprise me was the acid/tannin profile on the palate. The acid caused my mouth to water considerably, yet the tannin was almost non-existent, just a fleeting sensation of fine powder. In itself this could be considered an imbalance, but I understood that Italian wines do have a reputation for matching wines with strong foods, and with this in mind it seemed less unattractive. It’s a shame I didn’t have a pizza on hand, but I need to keep an eye on my nutrition.
All things considered, I thought it was a good wine, but perhaps a little overpriced. At $22.99 this placed it in the “High-priced” bracket ($20-$50), but this probably has more to do with the ridiculous taxes we have to pay on alcohol in Australia.
Extra note – I ended up having this wine with a chicken, egg and tomato dish for dinner and it was a great match. The tartness of the tomato made the fruit character in the wine much more evident and the whole experience became much more enjoyable.
Read More: Rational Wine Review #5 – 3 Hectares Feteascã Neagrã 2012