Intoxicating nose; versatile and balanced with both bright acidity and dark forest fruit; dusty tannins that are approachable now, but this wine can also be aged; elegant and precise.
Martha’s notes: The beauty of Nero d’Avola is its Chiaroscuro-like nature: brightness from its ability to hold onto acidity in warm Mediterranean climates, and darkness from its characteristic forest fruits. I spent a very impactful vintage working with this grape at COS in Sicily, so the fact that Nero d’Avola even exists in California—AND I get to work with it in both the vineyard and cellar—makes my heart happy. While everyone else is clamoring for cool climate sites along coastal California, I am proud to be looking inland, where the hotter climate and shorter spring season make low-input farming a reality. I still want to make elegant wines, so it just means thinking outside of the box with the choice of varieties. Nero d’Avola is a perfect natural fit.
62% Benson Ranch Vineyard, Ukiah, Mendocino County; 14 year old dry farmed (no irrigation) vines; farmed according to organic principles without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fungicides.
38% Fox Hill Vineyard, Talmage Bench, Mendocino County; 33 year old vines (as far as we know the oldest Nero d’Avola in CA); farmed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fungicides.