Nero d'Avola 2019
100% Nero d’Avola
Destemmed, pressed at dryness. Aged on lees for 12 months, components racked, blended and returned to barrel for an additional 6 months before bottling. Unfined. Unfiltered. Sediment expected.
75% Benson Ranch Vineyard, Ukiah, Mendocino County: 14-year-old dry farmed (no irrigation) vines, gravelly loam soils.
25% Fox Hill Vineyard, Talmage Bench, Mendocino County: 33-year-old vines (as far as we know the oldest Nero d’Avola in CA), sandy loam soils.
This wine smells like tomato vines and wild forest fruits. Feels like dark cocoa powder swirling in bright blackberry juice on your tongue. Open a few hours early or decant if drinking this in the 2 to 3 years after release.
The next California wine to collect! This wine gets more beautiful with age and can share a shelf with your Syrah, Nebbiolo, and Cabernet.
The beauty of Nero d’Avola is its Chiaroscuro-like nature: brightness from its ability to hold onto acidity in warm Mediterranean climates, and darkness from its characteristic forest fruits. I spent a very impactful vintage working with this grape at COS in Sicily, so the fact that Nero d’Avola even exists in California—AND I get to work with it in both the vineyard and cellar—makes my heart happy. While everyone else is clamoring for cool climate sites along the California coast, I am proud to be looking inland, where the hotter climate and shorter spring season make low-input farming a reality. I still want to make elegant wines, so it just means thinking outside of the box with the choice of varieties. Nero d’Avola is a perfect natural fit. I’ve been making this wine since 2014 and recently others in California are asking for cuttings and planting Nero d’Avola at their sites—I’m excited to see this amazing grape spread in California!
Destemmed, fermented in tank or small vat with a combination of pumpovers and punchdowns until dry. Pressed and put to neutral barrel on lees. After 12 months: racked off lees, vineyard components blended, and put back to barrel for a total of 18 months barrel aging. As with all of our wines, we rack the wine as little as possible to preserve the CO2 produced from fermentation, which acts as a natural preservative and allows us to add lower levels of sulfites. As such, we recommend opening a few hours early or decanting if drinking this wine in the first 2 to 3 years after release.
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