Each month we scour the wine landscapes to find a stellar bottling that offers a ton of bang-for-the-buck value. With our Wine of the Month program, we try and keep it around $10 or under. For the Wine of the Month 2, we relax the price rule a bit but still are looking for a great wine that's priced fairly. This category (WoM2) started because we were finding many amazing wines that couldn't quite fit into our sub-$10 price. This wine in particular, Firriato's "Chiaramonte" Nero d'Avola, is the perfect example for this category as the quality is stellar and the price is a bargain for what's in the glass.
And what's in it? Bright fruits and warm spices exude magnificently from the glass...dark red plums, nutmeg, dried purple flowers, balsa wood, notes of wild herbs and garden soil. The palate is loaded with pure fruit, more dark red plums and purple berries. Light acidity keeps the profile uplifted and lively as soft tannins enwrap the red fruits, cherry cola, dark chocolate and a touch of sassafras in the finish. It's a winning combination of gracefulness anchored with strength, a pas de deux of yin and yang combining to form a whole greater than its parts.
This native Sicilian vine shines with a new light in this wine which fully embodies all the authentic properties of its fruit. It is a different interpretation of Nero d'Avola that evokes with personality all the aromatic qualities of the island's most important red grape variety. The unique characteristics of the Dàgala Borromeo estate where this varietal is grown, lend themselves to shaping its modern structure and complex aromatic profile. Firriato's research reaches its highest pinnacle here in the sandy loam, alluvial soils of this plain, with an attentive viticulture that fully reveals the great biodiversity of the Sicilian native vines' heritage. Chiaramonte Nero d'Avola is one of the purest manifestations of this philosophy.
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Dried berry and spice with hints of rose petal on the nose. Full body. Round, velvety and ripe tannins. Gorgeous fruit. Drink or hold."