SANTOLIN Nero d’Avola 2014
I once wrote a blog post (back in 2012 when I had time for that sort of caper) about the importance of Italian grape varieties to the Australian wine industry. Suffice to say that my stance still remains. As time passes, there are now many more examples of where Italian grape varieties are outperforming traditional French varieties in the warmer climates of Australia. Nero d’Avola is such a grape. With probably the most exotic sounding name, this black grape variety, which hails from Sicily in Italy’s south, loves the heat. And Heathcote in central Victoria sure knows how to put on that heat.
Adrian Santolin is the young and talented winemaker, who was also a recent nominee of the Young Guns of Wine awards held in Melbourne. Adrian was pretty easy on the winemaking, allowing wild yeasts and whole berries to do most of the work. A little seasoned oak for ten months created a medium bodied style with aromas of boysenberry, blackcurrant and rum. The palate is overall soft all the way to the finish, with supple texture and juicy acidity to balance everything out. It was not a difficult feat to finish a bottle between two in one night, I must say. Try it with grilled vegetables and meats or some charcuterie.
Stockists: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne, or on premise at Mr Wolf and Supernormal.