Monday, October 09, 2006

Wine Club - Nero D'Avola

With the arrival of fall, my wine club has moved back to focusing on reds for a few months. I went to my favorite wineseller with a fairly open request - we wanted to taste some reds from Italy, in some sort of geographic or varietal grouping that made sense. We'd already tasted Chiantis, did she have any other recommendations? This is the group that she came up with.

2003 Valle Dell'Acate Il Moro Nero D'Avola, Sicilia IT $22.99
Cherry and dark fruit with pepper in an alcoholic nose. Showed some smoke later in the evening. Taste is not what you'd expect from the nose - tart cherry and dusty rocks with smooth tannins and a sharp finish. There's a strong opening and finish, but a big hole in the middle. Score: 2.7 food, 2.8 alone. Range: 2/4 food, 1/4 alone. Everyday Wines

2004 Feudo Arancio Nero D'Avola, Sicilia IT $8.99
Reticent nose. Green pepper and licorice to begin, with blackberries coming out later. Rounded and fruit forward wine with balanced acidity and smooth tannins. Slightly metallic finish. Some people thougth it was exceptionally good with the cured meat (speck). Score: 2.5 alone, 2.9 food. Range: 1/3.5 alone, 2/4 food. Everyday Wines

2002 Poggio Bidini Nero D'Avola, Sicilia IT $8.99
Stinky cheese and iodine right out of the bottle, which eventually blew off and revealed cherry tobacco and old leather belt. Cherry fruit, good acidity, some backbone and tannic finish. Good, but one dimensional. Score; 3.3 alone, 3.0 food. Range: 2/5 alone, 2/4 food. Everyday Wines

2003 Tasca D'Almerita Regaleali Nero D'Avola, Sicilia IT $17.99
Another stinky cheese nose, with pepper and lots of juicy cherry. Full bodied with the same fruit and pepper on the palate, moderate acidity and fairly strong tannins. Complex finish. Score: 3.5 alone, 3.5 food. Range: 2/4 alone, 2/4.5 food. Everyday Wines

As usual, we tasted the wines alone, and then again with food. The foods for this tasting were two Italian cheeses - a soft cheese with an edible rind that had been wrapped in thyme leaves (my notes say maccognetto de timo, but that may be typo, since Google has no evidence of its existence), and a really fabulous walnut-leaf wrapped pecorino. And some speck, a cured pork product similar to prosciutto or jamon serrano.

I didn't fall in love with Nero D'Avola from this tasting, and I don't think anyone else in the group did either. But since I have a bottle of Nero sitting in the basement, this certainly will help me know what to serve with it! It's definitely a wine that benefits from a little (or a lot) of airtime - all of the wines had odd noses right upon opening and opened up and got much better smelling with some time in the glass.

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