The wines of Southern Italy tend to be a little more fruit forward, higher in alcohol, and slightly lower in acid, when compared to the Northern regions. This is predominately due to the warmer climate and extra days of sunshine which produces riper grapes and therefore higher sugar for fermentation. When selecting wines for my Southern Italy class I wanted to select some unique wines. These two perfectly demonstrate what the South is capable of producing, interesting, yet very drinkable wines that consumers should be seeking out.
Calabretta IGT Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie [Etna Rosso] 2005- $25.
This wine is pre-aged before release, and can still be found in retail although it has 10 years of age. The aging helps to let the tannins soften as well as tame the grapes naturally high acidity. It is produced with “Vigne Vecchie” or old vines, (some plants over 100 years old) on the black volcanic ash slopes of Mt. Etna. Predominately Nerello Mascalese grapes but also some Nerello Cappuccio. Nerello wines have a crunchy minerality, along with some complex spice and earthy components. This wine is traditionally aged in large Slavonian oak casts resulting in a wine of structure but yet it is also very elegant, think Burgundy/Barolo.
COS Nero di Lupo (Nero d’Avola)- 2013-$30
Notice the shorter squat bottle, that is more common for wines from Sicilia (Sicily). This wine is produced in the Vittoria region- home to the only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria (always a blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola). Most Nero d’Avola is riper and more concentrated but this 100% beauty is aged in cement which produces a lighter Pinot Noir-like wine. COS is A biodynamic winery that uses no chemical products, the wines of COS are clean and so easy to drink…