Last week, we enjoyed wine from Argentina. This week, we tasted samples from Italy.
First up, we opened a Nero D’Avola from Sicilia DOC, when our neighbors popped over for a visit. It seemed fitting since Peter is from Sicily, and Nero D’Avola is a popular Sicilian grape.
This wine fromfeatured aromas of ripe cherry, sweet spices, a bit of licorice and cocoa, and was rich and smoky on the palate, with a royal ruby color. It would pair well with grilled or roasted meats, or you could taste it with medium-aged cheeses, like we did. And at an $11-price point, this is a good value wine with smooth tannins and a fuller body than expected.
We also decided to try a Nero D’Avola from another winery — 2013 Morgante Nero D’Avola Sicilia, which is another good value red ($16) that is fruity, rich and would go nicely with spaghetti and meatballs.
From Sicily we switched to Tuscany, and sipped on three wines from: the Monteverro Chardonnay Toscana, Vermentino di Monteverro and Verruzzo di Monteverro.
The 2012 Chardonnay was unlike any we have tasted before — not a hint of buttery notes but strong minerality and layered, with a long, slightly salty finish. We paired it with fresh crab that our neighbor caught and cooked for us — the wine’s salty/sea air notes were a perfect complement. We’re not usually big fans of chards, but this is not a typical Chardonnay, including the price point at $80.
Another white from the winery, 2014 Vermentino di Monteverro, is more reasonably priced at $25. It also shows strong minerality, similar to the Chardonnay. Light and refreshing, this is a great summer sipper on the deck.
We also enjoyed the 2013 Verruzzo di Monteverro ($22) — fruity but dry, this red wine is best decanted before tasting. According to the tasting notes, Veruzzo has “the power and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, the aromatics of Cabernet Franc and the softness of Merlot, all united in a red wine full of aromas, Italian character and elegance.”
So now you have some choices, if you want to try something new from Italy.
Margot and Dave