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2012 Eloro Nero d’Avola “Sciavè”


2012 Eloro Nero d’Avola “Sciavè” Riofavara - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Massimo’s master stroke is extracting the true character of Sicilian Nero d’Avola while vinifying it in a style that retains freshness and energy. He has the terroir for it, which is of course half the battle, but knowing how to get it from the vine to the bottle is the other pretty crucial half. Bravo, Massimo. –Dixon Brooke
Vintage: 2012
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Nero d’Avola
Appellation: Eloro
Country: Italy
Region: Sicily
Producer: Riofavara
Winemaker: Massimo Padova
Vineyard: 43 years, 19 years, 3.3 ha
Soil: Limestone, Clay, Marl
Aging: Fourteen months of élevage: (1/3 new barriques, 1/3 second passage barriques, 1/3 split between third passage barriques and stainless steel) and four to six months of bottle aging before release
Farming: Organic
Alcohol: 14%

More from this Producer or Region

About Sicily

Italy’s southernmost region and the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has no shortage of sunshine to grow high-quality grapes on a yearly basis. It also does not lack a history of winemaking: since the Greeks settled here almost three millennia ago, the vine has played a major role in the island’s agricultural makeup. Production of cheap bulk wine for blending dominated much of its recent history until now, as we are witnessing a quality revolution that puts forth its great diversity and quality of terroirs, indigenous grape varieties, and local production methods.

While Sicily’s historical reputation is for sweet wines—Marsala and the Muscats of Pantelleria stand out—a number of dry whites and reds are enjoying the spotlight today. The cooler, high-altitude slopes of Etna, with its ashy volcanic soils, have seen an explosion of activity from producers both local and foreign; both whites (primarily from Carricante) and reds (Nerello Mascalese) here are capable of uncommon freshness and finesse. Other noteworthy wine regions are Eloro, where Nero d’Avola gives its best; Noto, an oasis of dry and sweet Moscatos; Vittoria, with its supple, perfumed Frappatos; and Salina, where Malvasia makes thirst-quenching dry whites and deliciously succulent passiti.

Countless foreign invasions over the centuries have given Sicilian architecture and cuisine a unique exotic twist, making it a fascinating destination for gourmands as well as wine importers. With a wealth of dedicated artisans proud to show off the riches of their land, you can bet there are many exciting things still to come from this incredible island.

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I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

Inspiring Thirst, page 171


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