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Cusumano Nero d'Avola 2004

Nero d'Avola from Sicily, Italy
  • WS88
0% ABV
  • JS91
  • JS90
  • JS90
  • WE87
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Winemaker Notes

Cusumano's Nero d'Avola is grown near the heart of the island of Sicily. It is on the easy drinking side of the spectrum of Nero d'Avola production as a fruit driven offering with light spice and creaminess on the finish. Its unmistakable personality is a combination of black cherry and strawberry preserves and juniper berries on the nose. Enjoy now or age for another 5-7 years. Try with lamb chops or rare meats.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
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Cusumano

Cusumano

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Cusumano, Sicily, Italy
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Cusumano's wines come from premium sites all over Sicily, and are produced at the Partinico (straight west of Palermo) based family winery by third generation winemakers and brothers Diego and Alberto Cusumano. They craft wines of the 'new' Sicily typified by outstanding varietal expression, rich flavors, and a sensuality that could only be born under the Sicilian sun. Wine insiders have long predicted that Sicily would one day become Europe's dominant wine region. The sheer number of prime vineyard sites available, the diversity of microclimates and soils throughout the island, make it possible for Sicilian winemakers to work not only with exciting native varietals, but also with many international grapes. Cusumano is the pre-eminent producer turning that prediction into reality.

A large, geographically and climatically diverse island off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. It is also home to red and white table wines that have been steadily increasing in quality and popularity over the past few decades, allowing Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region to shed its former image as merely a supplier of bulk wine. Certainly, plenty of bulk wine is still made here, but those who look beyond that will find plenty of high-quality wines for every-day drinking as well as bottles from boutique producers who espouse thoughtful vineyard practices (the organic wine movement thrives here). Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, there is some variation on the sun-drenched island, particularly at high elevation on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Although Sicily’s comeback began with clever labels and easily recognizable international varieties, its charm lies in its indigenous grapes. Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, responsible for full-bodied, berry fruited wines throughout the island. In Cerasuolo di Vittoria, it is blended with the lighter, more floral Frappato to create an elegantly balanced wine. On the volcanic soils of Mount Etna, many noteworthy wines are being produced in every color—whites from Cataratto and Carricante, and rosés from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. All of these wines share a racy streak of minerality and at their best can bear more than a slight resemblance to their respective Burgundies. Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are used to produce generally simple, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

Nero d'Avola

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Opulent and fruit-driven with robust tannins, Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most widely planted red grape variety. Popular throughout Sicily both on its own and in blends, it features alongside Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Nocera in full-bodied Faro, and with Frappato in Cerasuolo di Vittoria to produce a light, lively wine.

In the Glass

Nero d’Avola is a bold, powerful wine with relatively high alcohol, moderate acidity, and an affinity for oak. Its flavors and aromas are of dark fruit (like plum, blackberry, and black cherry), peppery spice and sweet cocoa, occasionally accompanied by an earthy or herbal character. Dried fruit flavors are also common due to the hot weather this variety requires to thrive.

Perfect Pairings

Nero d’Avola’s dark, spicy flavors lend it well to richly flavored grilled meat dishes, but can also be a great compliment to simple pizza or pasta.

Sommelier Secret

If you love big, bold wines like Napa Cabernet and Châteauneuf-du-Pape but want to stick to a budget, look no further than Nero d’Avola for a worthy substitute. Even the best examples are often under $20.

LIM133265704_2004 Item# 86778