From: Sicily, Italy
Blend: 100% Nero d’Avola
Taste: This standout Nero d’Avola offers a rich blend of ripe red and black berry flavors, complemented by a subtle hint of dark chocolate. Originating from a high-elevation vineyard in central Sicily, and matured in large casks and tanks, it boasts a delightful freshness that balances its bold fruit character. Fine tannins add structure and lead to a generous blackberry-laden finish. Asmodeus offers a rich and peppery structure, making it an ideal introductory Nero d'Avola that captures the essence of Sicily. With its approachable nature and subtle herbal and earthy tones, it's a recommended alternative for those familiar with Australian Syrah and looking to explore new flavors.
Pairing: Nero d'Avola is a full-bodied, dry red wine from Sicily that pairs best with lasagna, meatballs, pizza, red meat and lamb tagine (see recipe below). Other options include chicken salad with pomegranate, pine nuts and raisins; caramelized barbecued pork patties; charcoal-grilled rump steak, sweet n sour eggplant stir-fry, saag paneer, or even vegetable korma.
By Melissa Clark
About. Poggio Anima is a joint venture between one of Tuscany's rising stars, Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie in Montalcino, and his U.S.A. importer Ronnie Sanders of Vine Street Imports. The idea is straightforward: to source great vineyards from existing relationships and produce a real wine that conveys a place and a grape. These wines are not bulk wines or leftover juice from a winery; they result from long-standing relationships with reputable and respected growers throughout Italy.
This wine. 100% Nero d’Avola from a single vineyard site in Caltanissetta, a commune in central Sicily. The grapes are destemmed and fermented at relatively warm temperatures to keep the fruit vibrant before aging 6 months in large, neutral French oak casks and an additional 3 months in stainless steel. Shows aromas of black plum, leather, pepper, and underbrush on the nose, with the addition of black cherry, mulberry and licorice on the palate.
Nero d'Avola (also known as Calabrese) is Sicily's most important and widely planted red wine grape. Vast volumes of Nero d'Avola are produced on the island yearly, and have been for centuries. The dark-skinned grape is of great historical importance to Sicily and takes its present-day name from the town of Avola on the island's southeast coast. The area was a hotbed of trade and population movement during the Middle Ages, and Nero d'Avola was frequently used to add color and body to lesser wines in mainland Italy.
Translated, Nero d'Avola means "Black of Avola", a reference to the grape's distinctive dark colouring, but its exact origins are the subject of debate. The region of Calabria can lay claim to the variety via its synonym Calabrese (meaning "of Calabria"), though this term may be a derivation of Calaurisi, an ancient name for someone from Avola.
For most of the 20th Century, Nero d'Avola was used as a blending grape, and the name very rarely appeared on wine labels. By the turn of the 21st Century, however, the grape's fortunes had changed considerably, and it is common to find Nero d'Avola produced as a varietal wine. It is often compared to Syrah because it likes similar growing conditions (Sicily has a hot Mediterranean climate) and exhibits many similar characteristics.
Depending on production methods, Nero d'Avola can be made into dense and dark wine stored in oak barrels and suitable for aging or young and fresh wines. Younger wines show plum and juicy, red-fruit flavors, while more complex examples offer chocolate and dark raspberry flavors. Nero d'Avola typically has high tannins, medium acid, and a strong body. However, it can be very smooth if grown at higher elevations where cooler temperatures restrict alcohol levels. It thrives on the eastern part of Sicily and is being trialed in Australia and California. Because of its generous color, Nero d'Avola is sometimes produced as rosé wine.
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