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2019 Eloro Nero d’Avola “Sciavè”

Riofavara
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Deep in southern Sicily, the Nero d’Avola grape is responsible for one of the rarest and most precious feats achievable in fine wine. Ripened in baking dry heat all summer long, it reaches full-throttle power with dense black fruits, hints of wild game and mint, and thick, chewy tannins. All the while, it retains vital acidity and a cool, fine-grained texture that mirrors the white chalk slopes on which it’s grown, within view of Mediterranean waters. A beastly hunk showing tasteful restraint, the Sciavè is a natural partner to grilled lamb, roasted eggplant, nonna’s meatballs, and pastas coated in chunky, slow-cooked tomato sauce.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2019
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)
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Sicily

map of 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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Inspiring Thirst

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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