Italian wine: Pride in Nero d'Avola with Gulfi

Jan 19, 2019 200

In 1995 Vito Catania inherited the land from his father and this were the early beginnings of the Gulfi winery.  His father, Raffaele, had saved the money to purchase the land from his 15 years of living in Paris where he moved after WWII in search of work.  His aim was to purchase the land that is in the family today so that his family had a place to go back to when they returned to Chiaramonte Gulfi.

The Gulfi winery is a bioorganic winery where they believe in the least amount of intervention as possible. Their oldest vineyards are located in areas of the Val di Noto and Pachino.

The Catania family labels their best wines as their "cru" wines, which are located in Pachino.  This is where they feel that nero d'avola grows best.  These areas are Neromaccarj, Nerobufaleffj, Nerobaronj and Nerosanlore.  These winegrowing areas have a variety of soils which lends to a variety of styles in the way wines are produced from each cru.

In addition to the nero d'avola and frappato that we're sharing today, Gulfi also produces a variety of other grapes including whites carricante and chardonnay and in the Etna area they grow nerello mascalese with some small experimentation with pinot noir.

The Grape

The highlight of the wines today is the nero d'avola grape.  This grape hails from the island and region of Sicily.  Originating from the town of Avola in southeastern Italy of the Syracuse province.  It has grown to become one of Sicily's most popular indigenous red grape.  It's a grape that typically produces wines fuller bodied rich in dark fruits and combined with the intense heat of Sicily it can really pack a punch.  

The Wines

2013 Gulfi Nerojbleo DOC is made up of 100% nero d'avola sourced from multiple sites.  Aged 12 months in oak and it spends 8 months in the bottle.  Deep ruby in color with hints of purple.  Lots of juicy, rich cherries and plums on the nose and up front on the palette.  This is a medium to fuller bodied, dry wine with moderate tannins with notes of vanilla and oak on the lengthy finish.  After enjoying this wine I'd be very interested to try the "cru wines".  This was my pick of the two.  ABV 13.5% SRP $20

2016 Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG is a blend of 50% nero d'avola and 50% frappato. A very dry, medium bodied wine with deep cherry notes.  Good acid and low on tannins.  Nicely balanced.  ABV 13.5% SRP $20

There are many styles of Nero d'Avola and I appreciated these wines as I'm not a huge fan of fruit forward wines and these had some unique qualities that I hadn't had in some previous nero d'avola that I've tried.  

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