Tue 16 Mar 2010
Help! I’m trapped in Barberaland and can’t get out! Wait, wait, yes, I can do it! I can squeeze through this Sicilian nero d’Avola and save my sanity!
Whew, that was close.
Truth is, I’ll get back to wines made from the barbera grape and other Piedmontese varieties because I have so much to write about, but for today’s Wine of the Week — and sorry that I skipped last week — let’s turn to the sunny south and the largest island in the Mediterranean.
Nature created the nero d’Avola grape to make wine that’s gorgeously drinkable but not profoundly important, and there’s not a damned thing wrong with that; if all creatures on earth could fulfill a function so handily, how happy we would be, n’est-ce pas? The Feudo Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola 2007, Sicilia, is, in five words, big, dark, spicy, ripe and wild. Black currant and plum flavors tinged with blueberry are packed with plush, dusty tannins and graphite-like minerality. Tingling acidity keeps the wine lively and vibrant. Though undeniably dry and even a little austere on the finish, this Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola 2007 benefits from an entrancing core of crushed violets, smoke, potpourri and a slightly Amarone-like roasted raisin quality. Altogether a wine of marked individuality that seems inevitable with braised meats and robust pastas and pizzas. Very Good+. About $14.
Imported by Zonin USA, Charlottesville, Va. A review sample.