A few weeks ago one of my friends mentioned that I should keep my eyes open for a place in town that had a Nero D'Avola wine in stock. I looked a couple of places without any success, and then stumbled upon the Cusumano 2008 Nero D'Avola at World Market. I didn't originally buy it, but went back this week to pick up a couple of bottles of wine. This one was another inexpensive bottle, ringing in at about $12. This was my first experience with Nero D'Avola, but I can guarantee that it won't be my last.
I believe this wine is 100% Nero D'Avola, which is Sicily's major native grape. The name means "black of Avola", and is named after Avola, which is a small town in southern Sicily. The wine has an alcohol content of 14.5%.
This wine has a beautiful, deep red color. The nose was incredibly complex, full of cedar, dates, and cassis. I really loved the nose on this wine. I got a lot of sour cherries, cassis and spices on the palate, as well as some plums, and even a hint of olives or olive oil. There was also some really great minerality. The finish was spicy, with some great acidity and maybe even a hint of a tomato sauce flavor. There was definitely some firm tannins on this one, and some pretty big acidity, but I think it was all within balance. This wine has great structure and character.
I was really impressed with this wine. I think that it drinks really well right now, and would go great with some pizza or some pasta with marinara. I think that you could probably keep drinking this wine for the next couple of years too. At the $12 price point, this wine is a great value. I give this one a definite "buy" recommendation.
This Nero D'Avola wine allowed me to check off another variety for my Wine Century Challenge. I now have reviewed 9 of 100 varieties, and only have 91 to go!