Epicuro Nero d’Avola 2013

Awhile back fellow blogger and wine enthusiast Lulu said she’d found this Sicilian red at her local Trader Joe’s and really enjoyed it.  That was enough for me!

Winemaker:  Epicuro
Wine:  Nero d’Avola
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Terre Siciliane IGT
Price:  $5.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  Here is another varietal that I’ve just barely stuck my big toe into.  I.e., I’ve had limited experience with these wines and am still learning as I trundle along my circuitous wine journey.  The last one I tasted brought a very dark flavor profile to the palate.  This selection, however, was quite a different experience.  The color was dark — a deep garnet.  In the bouquet I found earth, oak, ripe berries and a touch of smoke.  The body was on the lighter edge of medium.  It had high acidity, moderate tannins and 12.5% alcohol.  Flavors for me included boysenberry, oak and eucalyptus.  I felt it was a simple, pleasant, easy-drinking glass of wine.  Absolutely nothing to complain about here in my book, especially given it’s bargain price.  Thanks, Lulu, for the recommendation!

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Archeo Ruggero di Tasso Nero d’Avola 2011

Well, it isn’t often that I run across wines from Sicily.  But there you have it!  That shows the breadth of wines they are carrying at … yes, Trader Joe’s.  And I couldn’t resist trying it – especially a selection with a name this long.  No, seriously, I had never before had this varietal – Nero d’Avola – and wanted to find out more.

Peck.ArcheoNero_d'AvolaWinemaker:  Archeo, Ruggero di Tasso
Wine:  Nero d’Avola
Vintage:  2011
Appellation:  Sicilia IGT
Price:  $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  I don’t suppose I should be surprised that a wine made from a grape which has the word “black” in it’s name would have a dark flavor profile.  At least, that was my experience.  Fruit flavors for me were dark currant and black cherry.  I would almost say it had a cough-syrupy taste because this wine had something distinctly medicinal about it.  There was a constant mild bitterness that I would describe as … well, if not medicine then grape seed.  Like when you first bite the seed, not the heavy woodiness that comes when you keep chewing the seed.   There were mineral notes, and I tasted ash on the finish.  As it opened, that ever-present bitterness abated some, but it still didn’t bring the fruit flavors forward significantly.  That being said, the tannins were modest.  I’m going to put this one down in the “interesting” glass of wine category.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.