100% nero d'avola
Optimal Drinkability: Drinkable upon release (Apr. 2017), 3-4 years ageability
2016 Bianco di Nero d'Avola
April 2017 DEWN Wine Club Release
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$24.00 per bottle / $259.20 per case
$20.40 per bottle / $230.40 per case (Members)
Following in the footsteps of the ’15, the haunting ’16 Bianco is all about shadow-play; pale onion-skin in color, at first nose, you catch a tiny hint of this, a suggestion of that; I am reminded of the musky fragrance of Asian pear, and perhaps the fragrance of plum skin, as well. On the palate, it is quite savory, almost salty. This wine, forgive me, is a spare study in chiaroscuro; you sense the red wine inside that might have been. Letting your mind wander, you find yourself in a fancy sushi restaurant, presented with a plate of the Japanese salted/savory plum, umeboshi. Is it possible for a wine to also be about erotic obsession?
Nero d’Avola is perhaps sunny Sicily’s greatest joy, uvaggio rosso-wise, so it didn’t seem like a totally crazy idea maybe fifteen years ago to persuade a grower friend in Tracy, CA. to plant this variety in his vineyard. We didn’t have much of a chance to work with the grapes at the time, as the contract was soon assigned to the purchaser of the Big House brand shortly after the vineyard came into production.
I remained profoundly curious about what this variety could achieve; last year we made a somewhat spontaneous executive decision to make the wine as a bianco di nero, and the result was, frankly, spooky (in a good way).
While Tracy is nowhere near the sea, there is an unregenerate brininess to the wine. You are washed over by a great wave, as if in a Hokusai drawing. I don’t quite know how we ended up making a wine that was all about ghosts and Japan.
Food Pairing Notes
Hamachi Temaki (Yellowtail Cone Sushi) with Scallion & Umeboshi. Grilled Octopus. Squid. Gambas à la plancha. Pasta with Popelouchum Crushed Dry-Farmed Tomatoes, Popelouchum Olive Oil & Torn Basil.