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Vigneti Zabu Nero d'Avola 2015

Nero d'Avola from Sicily, Italy
    13% ABV
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    13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Intense, ruby red with purplish highlights and intense aromas of red fruit, balsamic and floral notes. Warm on the palate with a long-lasting finish and an aftertaste of woodland flowers.

    Excellent with roasts, game dishes, and seasoned cheeses.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vigneti Zabu

    Vigneti Zabu

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    Vigneti Zabu, Sicily, Italy
    Image of winery
    Lying on a hill, Sambuca di Sicilia is located in the Belice Valley, where lush vegetation surrounds the town. The origin of the town’s name comes from its founder, Al Zabuth the Charming, an Arab Emir. It was Al Zabuth who revived the town agricultural growth, which had been previously lagging.

    Today, the surrounding area is strewn with archaeological artifacts that point to the generations of farmers who have lived here over the centuries. These men and women of the land have a strong tradition of farming while maintaining respect for nature.

    This respect for the land fits well with Farnese philosophy has led to the creation of Vigneti Zabù. In the winery’s words, “The art of winemaking can create nothing more than what the grapes contain in nature.” The vines that grow in the Sambuca region, are subjected to the hot Sicilian summer days and cool nights which help the grapes develop wonderful, layered, flavors. The heat of the summer is tempered by the generous water supply of Lake Arancio which helps to create a microclimate ideal for the vines. Zabù employs the most advanced winemaking technology which is critical to enabling the features of the grapes to be transferred intact to the bottle. It is Farnese’s belief that excessive enthusiasm while working in the vineyards is pointless if the winery is unable to maintain certain standards when bottling.

    A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.

    Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on the sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.

    Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieites or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected wines of the island.

    Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, 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 with bold fruit and robust tannins, Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most widely planted red grape, though the variety's other name, Calabrese, suggests origins from the mainland region of Calabria. Popular throughout Sicily and prized for its body, color and deep cherry fruit, Nero d’Avola performs well both as a single varietal bottling and in blends. It loves hot, arid climates and Sicily's old vines are aptly head-trained close to the ground, making them resistant to strong winds. A few pioneering producers in California as well as Australia farm Nero d’Avola in the same way.

    In the Glass

    A couple of styles of Nero d’Avola are possible. The first is typically a powerful, opulent, dark fruit driven style with notes of coffee or cocoa from aging in wood. A second style offers up a snappier version with red cherry fruit and herbal notes, having seen little to no oak during aging.

    Perfect Pairings

    Nero d’Avola’s black fruit and spicy flavors are perfect with rich flavors like grilled meat or stews, but can also be a great compliment to burgers, 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 often run under $20.

    PIN434540_2015 Item# 165453