Our wine of the month #2 for August is the 2016 Paolo Calí "Jazz," a delightful, mid-weight red from Sicily that is fresh and easy-drinking on the surface, but concentrated at the core, revealing extra complexity over time. Paolo Calí had for a long time felt the pull to make serious wines from his family's Mediterranean estate. When he inherited the land in 2001, he quickly reoriented it toward quality viticulture and winemaking, and has since garnered recognition for his humble wines that do not follow fashions, and which some might call "more natural." The wines are not coddled or polished; they are made from organically grown grapes, fermented with native yeast, and neither filtered nor otherwise forcibly stabilized, resulting in wines with expressive character. In the case of the 2016 Paolo Calí "Jazz," a classic Vittoria regional blend of bright & floral Frappato with round & plummy Nero d'Avola, that character at a fair price makes it our Wine of the Month #2! It not only carries an evolving spectrum of subtle aromas and flavors (Paolo, a big music fan, likes to say the wine, like Jazz, has "a lot of notes"), but it also has a super drinkability.
The mellow "Jazz" opens with cranberry and stony top notes, a juicy raspberry mid-range, and a red plum bass end. That ripe raspberry fills the mouth, then tapers off gradually into a clean finish that carries hints of dried red fruits and woodsy undergrowth. As the wine opens, you might find flavors reminiscent of apothecary herbs and bark used in amaro liqueurs, and struck flint in the background. The palate continues to evolve with juicy blood orange and fragrant citrus rind, while a distinct smoky thread appears due to the otherwise unobtrusive large oak barrels used to rest the wine. Round and silky, there's just a whisper of fine tannin on the finish, with the moderate alcohol coming across as warming. This is a perfect wine to serve very cool to the touch on a sunny Summer day, along with good company and good food!
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 93 POINTS - "Vibrant red. Frappato's uniquely pungent and highly recognizable floral note dominates the nose and pushes the red berry and herbal aromas into the background. Then suave and ripe, but also very fresh with refined flavors reminiscent of the aromas that last and last. The finish features hints of sweet spices and minerals that linger nicely. This is a really lovely wine that will match heavenly with chicken and veal dishes; well done."