LEARN TO LOVE SICILY...

6 Textbook Reds from an Ancient region such as
94 point Etna Rosso and Organic Nero d'Avola


One of the most gratifying things about enjoying wine is the fact that there is always something new to learn, even when it comes to ancient regions like Sicily. Covered in grapevines long before the Greeks arrived, many of the native grapes in Sicily were brought by the Phoenicians. When the Romans took control of this beautiful island in the Mediterranean, they sent its wine around the empire, generating accolades and recognition, even from Julius Caesar himself. Fast forward to modern times... after a period of being known for Marsala wine, followed by rustic country reds, we have noticed a passionate renaissance of Sicilian wines dedicated to indigenous ancient red varieties, many being farmed with organic methods, AND being crafted from very old, complex vines. It's not just about the bargain-priced Nero d'Avola these days. Now, we are finding beautiful 100% Nero d'Avola such as the organic Santa Tresa below, as well as very 'local' Cerasuolo reds (a DOCG blend of Nero and Frappato); 100% Frappato wines (think of a bowl of fresh aromatic ripe berries in liquid form); Nero d'Avola blended with Pinot Noir (the Rapitala below has become one of our top sellers for folks who love to drink red wine with fish); and finally, the region of ETNA has become a wine geek's dream, with its vines planted on the hillsides of the active volcano Mt. Etna. Our featured estate Terre Nere is a top estate, make sure you read the descriptions below. The wines are compared to Burgundy and Piedmont in nature, with the soul of Sicily. So to sum things up, you could literally order a mixed case of the six wines below, and have the best lesson in Sicilian reds you could ever ask for! 


Cheers! the Murray family


“Terre Nere’s wines all possessed unbelievable freshness and complexity as well as huge perfumes that suggested Pinot Noir…These wines are astonishingly complex and ethereal efforts from the hillsides of Mt. Etna in Sicily.” – Robert Parker


 

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2017

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RATED 91 WINE ADVOCATE AND SUCKLING: 'The 2017 Etna Rosso is a beautiful wine that manages to effectively communicate both the elegance and the power of this stellar appellation in Sicily. 95% Nerello Mascalese with 5% Nerello Cappuccio. The wine is fermented in large oak casks, and it ages in large oak containers for up to 18 months.' “Proprietor Marc de Grazia is one of the pioneers of the Etna. He is among the first producers to recognize the value of these once-forgotten, ancient terroirs, and he bottled single-parcel Nerellos that have become reference-point wines for the Etna.” – Wine Advocate

$21.99    $17.99


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Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Calderara Sottana 2016

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RATED 94 WINE ADVOCATE : Halfway between the sea and the sky in Sicily, you’ll find Terre Nere estate. 'The single vineyard Calderara Sottana shows a higher level of complexity and increased depth that is especially apparent in the mouth. The wine has a firm tannin backbone that bodes very well for its future evolution. This is a structured Etna red wine. Nerello Mascalese is blended with 2% Nerello Cappuccio,' from pre-phylloxera and 40-50 year old vines. The soil is extremely rocky volcanic ash overrun by black pumice and solid volcanic rock.  'Hard as it is to believe, proprietor Marc de Grazia continues to ratchet up the quality at Tenuta delle Terre Nere, his property on Mount Etna. Simply put, these are the most brilliant wines I have ever tasted from de Grazia.' Wine Advocate

$59.99    $49.99


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Tenuta Rapitala Nuhar Nero d'Avola 2014

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Rapitalà, much like Sicily itself, is a mosaic of influences that comes together to create its unique identity. A marriage of Sicilian soul and French know-how, Rapitala showcases the power and personality of Sicilian terroir with an elegant, French winemaking style. In 1968, the French-born Count Hugues Bernard de la Gatinais, and his wife, Gigi Guarrasi from Palermo, inherited this estate from the Guarrasi family. Nuhar red is a blend of Nero d'Avola and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir).

$19.99    $17.99


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Terre di Giurfo Belsito Frappato 2014

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RATED 90 WINE ENTHUSIAST : 'Red rose, woodland berry and ground spice aromas lead the way on this expressive, delightful red. The vibrant palate offers juicy morello cherry, crushed raspberry and white pepper framed in zesty acidity and silky, smooth tannins. It's incredibly easy to drink.' Terre di Giurfo is located on ancient, picturesque lands in Ragusa, on the south eastern side of Sicily, along the Dirillo River Valley. Frappato is an indigenous grape; the earliest records date it back to the eighteenth century, and seems to come from the Iberian Peninsula. It creates a very aromatic, floral and pretty red wine to serve with lean meats, fish, vegetables, beans, cheeses and cured meats such as salami.

$17.99    $15.99


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Feudo di Santa Tresa Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2015


In 2005 Cerasuolo di Vittoria became Sicily’s first Dominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita wine -the highest stamp of quality that can be given to an Italian wine. As a blend of Vittoria’s Frappato grape variety and Sicily’s Nero d’Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria is very typical of the Sicilian terroir. The Santa Tresa (certified organic estate since 2009) Cerasuolo di Vittoria has a bouquet of dark, ripe berries. The palate is soft, with well-rounded fruit, reminiscent of blackberries and damsons. This is an elegant wine, with a certain finesse and a lovely long finish. In Sicily they have a local dish “Pasta alla Norma”, which goes perfectly with Cerasuolo. It’s a tomato sauce, with eggplant fried in olive oil, all mixed together with some ricotta cheese. Cerasuolo is delicious served slightly chilled and locals drink it with with meaty fish such as tuna and sword fish.

$16.99    $14.99


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Feudo di Santa Tresa Avulisi Nero d'Avola 2015


This very special Nero d'Avola is made from Santa Tresa's oldest vines, more than 50 years in age. Production per hectare is strictly limited in order to achieve the highest possible quality level – around half the production of most Nero d’Avolas. Therefore quantities are also strictly limited, with a maximum of only about 4,000 bottles being produced a year. From these old vines, only the very best quality Nero d’Avola grapes, which are perfectly ripe and in excellent condition, are used to create the ultimate Nero d’Avola in the finished Avulisi wine. The wine is aged in small, new oak barriques for at least twelve months before bottling. Only 333 cases made. Look for a deep bouquet of wild berries, blackcurrants and spices. The blackcurranty fruit continues to come through on the palate, which is rich, ripe, intense and very, very long. Avulisi’s rich character complements hearty, wintery dishes such as game stews, or richly flavored barbequed red meats. In Sicily there are lots of wild boar roaming the island, and the family's favorite dish with Avulisi is roasted wild boar with sage and honey.

$29.99    $24.99


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