Villa Pozzi Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC 2015

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Winery: For many generations the Pozzi Family has been making and selling wine. Beginning in Cremona, northern Italy the current owner’s great grandfather established relationships with local growers and producers and travelled throughout Italy selling their wines. The winery and vineyards were established in northwestern Sicily in 1860, today 4th generation winemaker Daniele Pozzi, who continues expanding the family’s connections, heads the estate.

Philosophy: The family’s motto is “Res non Verba” [Deeds not Words], and aims to produce high quality wines at affordable prices.

Winemaking: All of their wines are “made to be enjoyed upon release and have a ripe, fruit-forward style”. Vineyards are located in the hills surrounding Marsala, Salemi and Mazzara del Vallo in northwestern Sicily and have an average vine age of 25 years. Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards with clay soils in western Sicily. “Finished in stainless steel instead of oak, which lets the fresh fruit character of Sicily’s native Nero d’Avola grape shine through.”

Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry pie, spiced oak and dusty earth. Cherry driven with streaks of pomegranate, red currant and sour cherry dusted with a shake of white pepper. Baked cherry, vanilla and toasted oak comprise the dry, lengthy finish. A good value and companion to everyday dishes like pizza and pasta.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Enjoy with rich pastas and grilled meats.

Nero d’Avola [I could not verify varietal percentage, although it must be at least 80% for DOC status.]
Sicilia DOC
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Cantine Europa SCA
13% Alcohol
$7
Enjoy now

Morgante ‘Bianco di Morgante’ Sicilia IGT 2014

Estate: 4th generation grape grower Antonio Morgante, along with his sons, Carmelo and Giovanni, established The Morgante winery. The family has grown grapes for hundreds of years, but it was only in 1994 that they began to vinify their grapes themselves. The 500 acre estate is located in Grotte, a small town near the southwestern coast and the famous Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Currently there are150 acres of vineyards, the rest of the land is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the indigenous plant and animal life.

Philosophy: The “pursuit of excellence”, along with commitment to “social responsibility and sustainability”.

Winemaking: Renowned oenologist Riccardo Cotarella heads the winemaking at the estate. Nero d’Avola grapes are sourced from the 25 acre Contrada Racalmare vineyard. The soil is a mix of calcareous and clay. Fermented [off the skins to produce a white wine] and aged for 4-5 months in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of lemon, honey and minerals. Zippy acidity highlights creamy lemon flavours that melt into an almond, lemon zest and clean mineral finish. Sunny and refreshing, with a bit more heft then the typical white wine, well worth seeking out.

100% Nero d’Avola
Sicilia IGT
Italy
Bottled by Morgante S.R.L. Società Agricola
13.5% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now

Stemmari Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane IGT 2012

 

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A great value, this is a gluggable, berry packed Nero d’Avola.

Estate: The Stemmari estate is located in the province of Agrigento, in southwest Sicily, an area renowned for its well-preserved Greek temples. Stemmari is part of Gruppo Mezzacorona, an agricultural Cooperative Company. Founded in 1904, Gruppo Mezzacorona has over 1600 wine growing members that cultivate 2800 hectares of vineyards, primarily in Trentino, but now in other areas of Italy as well. Some of the group’s other brands are Rotari, Nota and Feudo Arancio. Stemmari is known for its proactive environmental initiatives, such as reclaiming damaged lands and replanting them with indigenous plants and trees. They conserve the local floral, and have been instrumental in reviving a rare species of orchid that is now a protected species on their land.

Philosophy: “Our aim is to sustain an example of wine making which is environmentally friendly and compatible with the surrounding area.”

Winemaking: Organic and sustainable methods are used in both the vineyards and cellar, “the winery and vineyards have been developed in a way to cause as little impact on the environment as possible”. By using solar photovoltaic panels, they are currently able to generate two-thirds of their electricity needs. The Nero d’Avola was aged for 6 months in French barriques.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with rich aromas of black cherry, toasted oak and white pepper. Silky tannins wrap around a fruity core of blackberry, strawberry and hints of black cherry. The fruit notes continue on with hints of earth on the dry finish. Easy drinking and straightforward, a versatile companion at the table.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: For its pleasant structure and intense aroma, the Nero d’Avola pairs ideally with typical Sicilian dishes, Spaghetti alla Norma, eggplant, and smoked ricotta cheese, Risotto and savoury cheeses.

100% Nero d’Avola
Terre Siciliane IGT
Italy
Bottled by Nosio Spa
13.5% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now

COS ‘Pithos Rosso’ Vittoria Rosso DOC 2013

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Winery: Located in the southeastern corner of Sicily, Azienda Agricola COS was established in 1980 by three friends with a mission to “recreate the work of their ancestors” and to interpret the unique terroir of Vittoria. The name COS is an acronym of the founders Giambattista [Titta] Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Cirino Strano. Cirino left the company to pursue a career in medicine, and over the years Titta and Giusto have continued to expand the estate by acquiring nearby land. ‘Pithos’ [the Greek word for a large storage container] was born in 2000 when they became fascinated by ancient Greek cellaring methods and began working with clay amphorae [terracotta jars] the Greeks used thousands of years ago. In 2007 they built a new winery and replaced all of the oak barrels in their cellar with 150 amphorae.

Philosophy: “If you listen to nature and respect it, the wine becomes a mirror of the land and of your soul. This will never happen if we do not accept the idea that wine must be an expression of the land, vineyard, and culture. Our wines are the history of a land and tell us.”

Winemaking: In the quest to express and protect the terroir of the land, they practice biodynamic viticulture along with ancient Greek cellar methods, such as fermenting and ageing in clay amphorae that are partially buried in the ground. The clay jars facilitate the ability of the wine to breath, and the aspects of the vineyard and varietal are more clearly appreciated, thereby allowing the wines to “represent their time and place”. “When committing to making wine without any chemical influences, nor following any recipes, and allowing nature to have the primary influence on the path of the wine, vinification in terracotta is the inevitable decision. The choice is not ideological, but ethical.” As with all of their wines, only indigenous yeasts are used, no “external substances” are added.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with intriguing aromas of red currant, olive and white peppercorn. Medium bodied, with wild berry notes wrapping around an earthy core, particularly truffles and forest elements which are brightend by clean, tart fruit. Suave, dry tannins and more earthy notes comprise the finish. Alluring and well balanced this is lovely with a wide variety of dishes.

60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Frappato
Vittoria Rosso DOC
Sicily/Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agriola COS
12% Alcohol
$25
Enjoy now thru 2016

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Kobrand Tour d’Italia; First Stop, Sicily for Nero d’Avola & Grillo

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I was delighted to attend the 4th annual Kobrand ‘Tour d’Italia’, featuring iconic wines from their exclusive Italian wine portfolio. Kobrand is a family owned importing company founded in 1944, it serves as the exclusive agent for many fine European wines and additionally owns many of the brands in its portfolio. The tasting was held in the stunningly beautiful Bowery Hotel in NYC, and was a fantastic opportunity to speak directly with iconic winemakers representing many regions of Italy, from the north to Tuscany to Sicily. Many producers brought new releases and assembled vertical tastings of some of their best vintages and labels. With so many exceptional wines, it was difficult not trying them all [although I did give it my best attempt in the couple of hours that I had!]

The Sicilian estate of Feudo Maccari, established by Antonio Moretti in 2000 is located just over a mile from the sea on the southern tip of Sicily. Moretti also owns his renowned family estate of Tenuta Sette Ponti in Tuscany, along with Poggio al Lupo in Maremma. The 250 acre Sicilian estate was assembled from numerous owners with more than 50 separate vineyard plots on the hillsides near the town of Noto.

Winemaking: The extreme dry heat makes the use of chemicals unnecessary. Vineyards are 240 feet above sea level with predominantly volcanic soils, with the occasional chalk deposit. There are newly planted vines, though the average age runs between 30-60 years.

The very gracious Giovanna Moretti, Antonio Moretti’s sister and co-owner of Tenuta Sette Ponti, presented the wines:

grillo

Feudo Maccari Grillo Sicilia IGP 2014
Ms. Moretti introduced this as an “easy wine” best enjoyed “very cold”. Aged in stainless steel, and absolutely brimming with lush tropical fruit flavours highlighted by heady honeysuckle notes, followed by clean minerals on the crisp finish. Incredibly glugable with a fantastic integration of fruit, floral and minerals elements.
$10 [average price]

saiamaccari

Feudo Maccari Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGP 2014
Described by Ms. Moretti as the estate’s “basic Nero d’Avola”, sourced from vines aged 12-34 years old, this is 100% Nero d’Avola aged in stainless steel and absolutely dazzling in its simplicity and clarity. Fruit forward with black cherry and red currant flavours atop a fresh acidity and traces of menthol leading to a clean, dry finish.
$9 [average price]

Feudo Maccari ‘Saia’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGP 2012
Saia is a velvety expression of Nero d’Avola, grapes are sourced from 20-30 year old vines in volcanic soil with white sand and chalk deposits, then aged for 1 year in French barriques followed by 6 months in the bottle. Oak adds depth and is a good foil to the morello cherry, dry tannins and hints of mint. Sweet raisin notes shine of the spicy finish and keep you reaching for more.
$20 [average price]

 

 

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