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The Nero d’Avola Grape


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About Nero d’Avola

(Synonyms: Calabrese, Calabrese d’Avola, Calabrese De Calabria, Calabrese di Vittoria, Calabrese Dolce, Niureddu Calavrisi)

Background

Map showing Sicily

Nero d’Avola is a red-wine grape originating on Sicily, originally from the town of Avola. It is generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class red-wine grapes.

Though many centuries old, Nero only emerged onto the world stage perhaps three decades ago. Prior to that, it was important, but only as a blending wine; now it is a “hot” monovarietal.

Though Sicily may seem a relatively small place, it has quite a few fairly different microclimates, and the better wines from the island (including, of course, Nero) reflect those terroires, so the wines are far from fungible.

The flavor qualities of a Nero d’Avola are distinctive, though (as always) not so easy to define. They tend to soft roundness and moderate alcohol levels, and are not as acidic as some Italiante reds. There is classically a dark-cherry element to the fruit, but also a pleasing quality of what some call earthiness, some smokiness, and others “dust”; many associate that defining note with the volcanic soil that pervades Sicily, but that may be only psychological (volcano dust = dusty flavor). Nero wines almost all drink quite well when young, but the best will reward cellaring.

Factoid: Nero d’Avola is used in many of the fortified-wine blends sold as Marsala.

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Some Descriptions of Nero d’Avola Wines

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Some Nero d’Avolas to Try

(About this list.)

Gulfi “Nerojbleo” Nero d’Avola
(Guelfi has numerous Nero d’Avola bottlings: be sure you’re looking at their “Nerojbleo” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Feudo Montoni “Vigna Lagnusa” Nero d’Avola
(Don’t confuse this with their “Vrucara” or “Vrucara” bottlings.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Cantine Colosi Nero d’Avola
(Don’t confuse this bottling with their “L’Incontro” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Donnafugata “Sedàra”
(This is a mainly Nero blend.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Feudo Maccari Nero d’Avola
(This is not their “Saia” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Donnafugata “Mille e Una Notte”, from their Contessa Entellina estate vineyard. It is a blend of mainly Nero d’Avola with a few other reds whose identity varies from vintage to vintage, but typically include Syrah and, usually, some Petit Verdot..

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.