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!