Category Archives: Nero D’Avola

Mar 03 2016

Wine of the Week: Feudo Di Santa Tresa Avulisi Nero D’Avola Red 2011 $39.99

Posted on March 03, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over the past few years nero d’avola, the ancient native red variety of Sicily, has really captured the imagination of sommeliers and consumers alike. So much so that 55 plantings of nero d’avola can now be found in Australia and a good number of producers are already making excellent wines from the grape.

The foresight of the McLaren Vale Chalmers family nursery in deciding to import Italian vine material in the late 1990s has much to do with the grape’s growing popularity with winemakers. It realised that nero d’avola was one of  a number of Italian varieties perfectly suited to Australia’s challenging and climate change affected environment.

Nero d’avola’s naturally naturally high acidity levels and generous tannins allow winemakers to make a medium-bodied, balanced wine that displays bright red fruit aromas as well as savoury notes. Some examples even display delightful floral aromas, not unlike the terroir-expressive pinot noir.

Chalmers began importing nero d’avola in 1998 but due to quarantine restrictions it was not released on the market until 2001. Consequently Sicilian examples of nero d’avola from vines with a bit of age provide a hint of how Australian versions of the variety will likely evolve as the country’s plantings mature.

The Feudo Di Santa Tresa Avulisi Nero D’Avola Red 2011 ($39.99) is one of the best examples from Sicily. It’s the flagship wine of the organically farmed 50 hectare Feudo Di Santa Tresa estate. Originally founded in 1697, Feudo Di Santa Tresa’s light red sandy loam soils on a well-drained limestone base not only imbue the wines with minerality but guarantee a vital supply of water in what are typically hot and dry conditions.

The grapes for Avulisi come exclusively from the estate’s  oldest and finest nero d’avola vines, which are over 45 years old.  A deep bouquet of … Read the rest

Apr 04 2015

New Wave of Italian grape varieties capture Australian winemaker interest

Posted on April 04, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Climate change, weak export markets and increasingly worldly local consumers are all trends that have conspired over the past decade to create growing interest from Australian producers in alternative grape varieties.

Having achieved great success with the noble Italian varieties of sangiovese and nebbiolo, rustic Italian varieties from the southern Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily, for example, are beginning to win favour with smaller producers in particular.

In a recent series of articles on Italian varieties in Australia, Walter Speller of JancisRobinson.com reported that South Australia’s McLaren Vale has become the epicentre of enthusiasm for Italian varieties, noting that McLaren Vale plantings of nero d’avalo, the prized indigenous red grape of Sicily, are spreading like wildfire. (Italian Grape Varieties in Australia – Part 2 by Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com, 24 February 2015)

McLaren Vale’s Coriole, Beach Road, Brash Higgins, Fallen Women, and Hither & Yon are starting to win high praise for their expressions of nero d’avola. The Hither & Yon Nero d’Avola 2014, made from a hectare six year old vines planted by Richard and Malcolm Leask, won best Italian Red Wine Variety at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. The Wine Front’s Gary Walsh described it as “Bursting with ripe dark berries, raw almonds, fragrant and sweet dried herbs with a handful of black jelly beans tossed in for good measure.” (Wine Front, 12 November 2014)

White Italian varieties like the Campagna region’s  fiano and Sardinia’a vermentino are also popular in McLaren Vale. Oliver’s Taranga Fiano 2014 picked up Best White Wine and Best White Italian Variety at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Oliver’s Tarango winemaker Corrina Rayment believes these varieties hold up particularly well in McLaren Vale’s often harsh summers.

Ballandean Estate FianoWine critic James Halliday noted that of the … Read the rest