My girlfriend is finally back in the country after 7 months living in Germany. A few months ago I was able to visit her over there and we took an excursion down to Italy which I wrote about. The other night we opened up one of the bottles that I picked up while over there.
The Grape: This little known grape grown almost exclusively in Sicily is starting to become more well known. While it will never be as popular as Merlot or Cab it's influence is spreading within its home country. The name means "the black grape of Avola." In its native home of Sicily Nero d' Avola also goes by the name Calabrese. Avola is a wine growing region in southern Sicily, and this particular grape has evolved over the centuries of grape selection and cross breeding.
The Winery: Unfortunately I couldn't find much on the winery other than they are from Sicily. They also seem to be well distributed over here in the states, also making a Syrah which is an interesting choice from an Italian winery.
The Wine: The wine weighed in at about 13% alcohol. It poured a deep dark ruby red with a nose full of musty earth, berries, and oak with maybe a hint of raspberries. The mouth was full of cherries, dried fruit, and quite a bit of alcohol which was suprising. The wine finished dry with not a lot of tannins. I think that this wine could probably have used a little more aging to mellow out the alcohol. A wine I'd grade a C-.