WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

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WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:25 pm

After dinner Friday headed over to my friend DP’s for meeting of my local tasting group, theme was red wines from Sicily. Besides the leftover Auxey I carried, there were a couple of starters as we gathered

2011 Hauner Salina Bianco
Dry, minerally, peaches and apricot, saline, nice. B/B+

2007 Gulfi Carjcanti,
Round, pit fruits and a little butterscotch, sweet fruit though a dry wine. B
On to the main event, Sicilian reds blind (with some cheeses, meats, hummus, etc.

Blind Wine #1 - dark berries, light tannins, balancing acids, I make a call of Nero d’Avola (with Sicily I can probably only name 3 indigenous grapes, so not much of a guess), fairly nice wine- simple but friendly.. 2010 Centopassi Nero d’Avola B/B+

Blind Wine# 2- juicy, fruity, a hint of oak chip. I think maybe Merlot, but bringer thinks a blend primarily NdA. I’m not a fan, but the fruitbomb crowd likes, and a couple take pix of label for shopping. 2010 Regaleali Rosso B-/C+

Blind Wine# 3 - no guesses from me as it was mine. Crushed berries, flowers, herbs and gingery spice. Bright acids, lovely. 2010 Occhipinti SP68. A-

Blind Wine# 4- reminds me of a more structured version of #1, so again guess NdA. Full, fleshy but with balanced acids and a touch of tannin, really quite a bargain. 2010 Montoni Nero d’Avolo B+

Blind Wine# 5- black raspberries, floral, some grip, I guess Nerello Mascalese and then get Frappato on second guess. A bit short, but pleasant. 2011 Valle d’Acate Il Frappato B


Blind Wine# 6- structured,some oak, guess a more serious NdA. Some really loved, I liked but wish the oak was a little more restrained. 2007 Riofavara Sciave Nero d’Avola. B/B+

Blind Wine# 7 - fat plummy fruit, some coarse tannin, a bit of ashtray on finish. Others liked better. 2008 Cantine Russo “ Uve D'oro" Nero D'Avola C+

Blind Wine#8- fresh, berry fruit, a floral edge, a nice straightforward NdA. 2011 Calea Nero d'Avola. B+/B

There was also a non-blind blend offered around late, name was Notte di something, but I didn’t right down, and it was a very forgettable wine.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a
party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of
objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Mark S » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:15 pm

Dale, I'm surprised you didn't like the Gulf more. I love the saline acidity of the caricante, almost like a food friendly sherry, but I think it needs the right food to sing with. I also think they can age well.
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:26 pm

It could be my cold, it could be I didn't pay as much attention to the whites, or it could be because it almost tastes like a sherry! :)
But it didn't remind me of sherry (I'm not much of a sherry drinker, I've tried to be converted)
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby James Dietz » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:33 pm

I like Ariana Occhipinti's wines a lot.. I drink quite a bit.. and COS and Cornelissen, too...

I didn't know Hauner made a dry white. Their Passito still lingers in my mind.. and paired amazingly well with pineapple pie!! Imbedded in my flavor memory.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Oliver McCrum » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:27 pm

Mark S wrote:Dale, I'm surprised you didn't like the Gulf more. I love the saline acidity of the caricante, almost like a food friendly sherry, but I think it needs the right food to sing with. I also think they can age well.


They were using very little SO2 for a while, so oxidation is not surprising. The variety can certainly age, all other things being equal.
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Mike Pollard » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:12 pm

Very interesting to see a group of Nero d’Avola's reviewed. We visited Sicily in 2011 and in a little Trattoria in Palermo we had our first taste of Nero d’Avola. The wine was gratis and we had to ask what it was because it was certainly value for money! We ended up chasing down a few more Nero d’Avola's and were told by a very helpful fellow at Enoteca Picone that Nero d'Avola was the Sicilian Shiraz. I never really understood that even after trying a few more examples back here in the US.

Anyone ever have a Nero d'Avola they would call Shiraz-like?

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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Lou Kessler » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:49 pm

Mike Pollard wrote:Very interesting to see a group of Nero d’Avola's reviewed. We visited Sicily in 2011 and in a little Trattoria in Palermo we had our first taste of Nero d’Avola. The wine was gratis and we had to ask what it was because it was certainly value for money! We ended up chasing down a few more Nero d’Avola's and were told by a very helpful fellow at Enoteca Picone that Nero d'Avola was the Sicilian Shiraz. I never really understood that even after trying a few more examples back here in the US.

Anyone ever have a Nero d'Avola they would call Shiraz-like?

Mike

I've tasted quite a few Nero d'Avolas, Frappatos, etc from Sicily and the last way I would describe them as being like would be Shiraz. I'm very happy that they aren't, I wouldn't consider it a compliment.
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Oliver McCrum » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:19 pm

I've had a number of Nero d'Avolas that were Shiraz-like, and some that I liked much more. It certainly plays the Shiraz role in their wine economy.
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Lou Kessler » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:38 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:I've had a number of Nero d'Avolas that were Shiraz-like, and some that I liked much more. It certainly plays the Shiraz role in their wine economy.
Shiraz role I agree but why would you drink those wines. I always thought you had a perfect palate. That heavy and Parkerized?
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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Mike Pollard » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:34 pm

Some Shiraz are heavy and Parkerized, but that's really just a fraction. It’s a tremendously versatile grape at least in Australia where its used to make excellent wines in many categories, everything from rose to fortified wines and sparkling as well. The great diversity that is Aussie Shiraz does not deserve to be painted with the narrow brush of anti-Parkerism.

In terms of the Shiraz versus Nero d’Avola comparison it would seem that in calling Nero d’Avola the Sicilian Shiraz the guy at Enoteca Picone might have been implying that its their workhorse rather than is similar in taste to Aussie Shiraz. Probably my error as it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve misinterpreted a wine fact.

However if anyone can provide me with the names of wines made from Nero d’Avola that they think resemble Shiraz in taste I’ll be happy to chase them down so I can broaden my wine horizons. My wife will thank you as well because she does like Nero d’Avola (and big bold Aussie Shiraz!)

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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Victorwine » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:49 am

Nero d’Avola from Sicily was at one time sent north to improve the wines produced there. I think the reasons today that Nero d’Avola is sometimes described by some as “Shiraz-like” is because “New World” winemaking techniques are applied (partial crush/whole berry or clusters, “cooler” stainless steel tank fermentation, pump overs, delestage, etc.) which helps to retaining the grapes fruity character. We can call this “Parkerized” if we like, but personally I think these “styles” of wine would have eventually come into existence with or without Parker. It’s when the fruit is harvested, the way the must/juice is prepared, the technique used to ferment it, and the cellar treatment that determines the “style” of wine. A full crush/partial stem, “punch downs” and “warmer” (or spiked) fermentation will give you a different “‘beast”.

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Re: WTN: Sicilian wines with local (non-serious) tasting group

Postby Oliver McCrum » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:58 am

Lou Kessler wrote:
Oliver McCrum wrote:I've had a number of Nero d'Avolas that were Shiraz-like, and some that I liked much more. It certainly plays the Shiraz role in their wine economy.
Shiraz role I agree but why would you drink those wines. I always thought you had a perfect palate. That heavy and Parkerized?


I didn't drink them, I tasted them for professional purposes. I don't have a perfect palate, though.
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