March 21, 2011

Sedara Donnafugata 2008


Varietal: About 50% Nero d'Avola, blended with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah
Region: Sicily, Italy
Price: $6.99

Southern Italian and Sicilian wines can be fantastic values. Generally speaking you get a whole lot of rustic flavor for under $15. The hot dry climate and terrain in Puglia and Sicily tends to yield wines that are strong and spicy with rich dried fruit notes. Nero d'Avola is one of those local Sicilian varietals that can be intense and brooding, and occasionally downright belligerent. I guess that's why more producers are choosing to temper the intensity by blending it with smoother, more consumer friendly friendly grapes like cab, merlot and syrah as Sedara did with the Donnafugata.

This wine looks intense in the glass. It is fairly opaque and if you give it a good swirl you get whiffs of saddle leather and pipe tobacco, with spicy cassis and black cherry. Unfortunately, it is significantly more aromatic than flavorful, but I did get some dusty dried fruit flavors. It is pretty smooth and easy drinking--especially considering where it comes from. But frankly I like my Sicilians to pack more of a punch. I like my Nero d'Avola to taste like Nero d'Avola and not some generic red blend. That said, for what I paid, though it is unremarkable, this wine was a pleasant everyday pour that would definitely be a crowd pleaser at a pizza party. Which is exactly how I enjoyed it.

I picked mine up at Cost Plus World Market but you can also find it on

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Posted by Noël Wallace at March 21, 2011 7:50 AM
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