Tenuta Rapitala Nuhar Nero d'Avola 2014
Nuhar, meaning flower, is made from Nero d’Avola, which develops rich tannins and body, with Pinot Noir, King of Burgundy, responding well to the warmth of Sicily giving color, ripeness and finesse. Look for a bouquet of dried fruits, flowers and berry. The palate is warm and full with a balanced acidity and elegant tannins. The finish is long and lingering. This pairs well with meats, game, pasta, truffle dishes, cheese and pizza.
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 after it was destroyed by an earthquake. The winery was soon rebuilt and vineyards were replanted to include not only indigenous varieties, but beloved French varieties as well. At the forefront of the quality revolution in Sicily, Rapitala was one of the first five producers on the island to offer estate bottled wines, starting with the 1976 vintage.
Today, Rapitala’s over 550 contiguous acres are divided into 180 unique vineyard parcels. Each parcel is managed, harvested and vinified separately, crafting optimal terroir expressions. As a result, Rapitala has one of the longest harvest seasons, starting in August and ending in November, to ensure that each variety and parcel is picked at the right moment. The work, started by Hugues de la Gatinais and his wife Gigi, is now carried on by their son, Laurent, with the same care and passion. He oversees Rapitala’s continuing mission to integrate and improve sustainable practices and new technologies into the property in order to achieve the purest expression of this region’s distinct terroir. Pushing beyond sustainability, Rapitala is starting to certify some of its vineyards as organic.
Wine AdvocateThe 2014 Sicilia Nero d'Avola Campo Reale shows distinctive aromas of this Sicilian grape with garden greens, spice, dark fruit and crushed pistachio. There's also a note of fresh fennel, dill or green caper that I often find in Nero d'Avola. It reminds me of the lush vegetation common to Sicily in the springtime. The mouthfeel is raw and tight with sour cherry flavors that make your mouth pucker.
Wine EnthusiastAromas of ripe black-skinned fruit, blue flower, tilled soil and Oriental spice come together in the glass. The basic but savory palate displays mature black cherry, blackberry and ground pepper alongside soft, round tannins.
Wine SpectatorMelted licorice and tar notes are layered with blackberry coulis and grilled herb flavors in this minerally red, which is light- to medium-bodied and fresh. Drink now through 2018. 3,200 cases imported.