Nero d’Avola from Moziese

Chocolate-covered cherries-those words came quickly to me as I stuck my nose into a glass of 2007 Nero d’Avola from Moziese. The fruit aromas for this wine are pure and vivid. I clung to cherry, but my wine cronies here at the shop thought more raspberry. Cherry? Raspberry? Never mind the fruit, this is wine that rates high on the yum meter. The chocolate aromas are not sweet, but dusty and cocoa-like. And though the rush of fruit that greets your taste buds is substantial, just when you think this is going to be too much, the flavors turn a corner and a gritty, firm structure finishes out the flavor profile. This is a lot of wine for the money.
Nero d’Avola, a grape indigenous to Sicily and gaining a reputation for making significant wines of complexity and power, is also known as Calabrese. The grapes for Moziese’s bottling come from vines planted by the proprietors, Giovanni and Giacomo Manzo. Giovanni, a wine consultant for numerous Sicilian wineries, only recently began his very own project along with his brother. The vineyard and winery is located near the town of Marsala in western Sicily across from the island of Mozia, which is depicted on the label. Here the climate is hot and arid, though in 2007 Sicily was hit hard by spring rain which contributed to lower than usual yields. Moziese’s 2007 Nero d’Avola is particularly concentrated and rich. A whopping 300 cases were produced!
The other day a customer whom Pete usually helps (they have this music simpatico-thing going) came by for a few full-bodied red wine recommendations. Pete had the day off, so it was up to me to pinch hit for him. Right off the bat, I pointed to Moziese’s Nero d’Avola. The customer, let’s call him ER, never tried a Nero d’Avola before and was excited to taste something new. But before he could place a bottle on the counter, ER had to listen to my long drawn out description of chocolate-covered cherries and such. A few days later, Pete answered the phone and within seconds I overheard him say “chocolate-covered cherries”. I knew at once it must be ER on the line. It was; he ordered a case. –Anya Balistreri
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