07 March 2014

2011 Lamùri Nero d'Avola

Whenever I see Nero d'Avola on a wine list, I'm inclined to order a glass. Said glass of wine will generally be inexpensive and have a rustic character. Why do I order it? Mostly as a show of appreciation to the person building the wine list for the restaurant. This isn't one of those second-cheapest wine tricks, it's more that I really enjoy the wines of the Mediterranean islands, they tend to go well with lots of different foods, and they're not terribly popular in the United States. The restaurant owner or sommelier is taking a risk by including an obscure grape that doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.

On the occasions when I've spotted this grape on a wine list and ordered it, I've found the waiter or bartender to be eager to talk about it, to pour a little more generously, and to be generally excited about discussing something other than the cheapest option or the prestige brands. It's sort of like having a sincere appreciation of an indie band. Most of the conversations about the Beatles have already happened. It's nice to have a fresh talk about the local band's playlist that's on the house sound system.

2011 Tasca d'Almerita Lamùri Nero d'Avola
Sicily IGT
100% Nero d'Avola
$18, 13%

This particular bottle showed a lot of stewed fruit and brambles, with an overall wild and earthy profile. Medium tannins with a clean finish. It makes an entirely delicious companion to a pizza topped with pepperoni, ham, and other cured pork products.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.

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