Ajello Majus Nero d'Avola 2006
Nero d'Avola from Sicily, Italy
Sicily's important native Nero D'avola grape is used for this exuberant, fresh, sappy red. Dry and spicy this is perfect for lighter fare and ideal for picnics and grilling. Fans of Zinfandel and Shiraz take notice! Pronounced "I-Yello My-Yoos"
"...This offers a lot of complexity at an exceptionally fair price..."
-Wines & Spirits
Vines have been cultivated on the Ajello family's 125-hectare estate in the Val di Mazara, located below Trapani in Southwest part of the island, for three generations. The farm was already distinguished by the viti-cultural work that still prevails today, beginning with the planting of the first head-trained spur pruned vineyards and the construction of the winery. Sixty-eight hectares are occupied by vineyards which are divided between indigenous varieties Grillo, Insolia, Catarratto, and Nero d'Avola, and the new, international varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The altitude of 200 meters, the hilly position with south-eastern exposure, the clay-calcareous nature of the soil, the natural ventilation during the ripening phase and the high density of plants per hectare, all contribute to high quality grapes, which are picked exclusively by hand. The estate has recently enlisted the leading Italian oenologist Stefano Chioccioli.
"It was my grandfather, in 1860, who planted the first vines, and my father passed on the same passion that I, today, try to transmit to my own children. Our philosophy is simple: We leave nature to do most of the work, trying to capture in bottles the wealth, the vitality and the structure of the magnificent grapes that our vines produce, knowing that our role is merely that of guardian of these intrinsic qualities."
– Dottore Ajello
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Sicily makes a lot of wine. From Marsala, the sweet, fortified wine of the region, to up-and-coming Nero d'Avola, this hot and hilly region is diverse. Sicily was at one time more quantity focused than quality, and while it's still producing a great deal of wine, the quality coming out is much better. With poor soil (great for grapes), warm sunshine, little rainfall and good mountain terrains, this little island is perfect for making the good stuff.
There are still delicious sweet wines coming from Sicily, including Marsala, Moscato di Pantelleria & Malvasia delle Lipari. But the reds are the wines making people stand up and notice. Nero d'Avola is demonstrating its potential for making deep reds with the ability to age. Some winemakers are taking a chance with international varieties, like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grapes are sometimes blended with the Nero d'Avola or other native Italian varietals – adding a bit of international sophistication to regional charm.
A little ditty about Italy...
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
3 ratings, 2 with reviews
I paired this with a well seasoned ribeye. Halfway through the steak and the glass, I realized the wine had surpassed all my expectations. It was much better than I had expected. I'm glad I picked up 2 bottles as it's no longer available.
This wine tasted like a wine that had been on the shelf too many years - bitter and a very strong alcohol taste. Very disapointing, especially for a 92 W&S rating! I won't buy a Sicilian wine again.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.