At first I didn't realize that I had previously reviewed this particular wine. This comes as no real surprise, there just aren't all that many $10 wines out there. Interestingly enough, the previous time around the review was held up as I listened to President Obama's first press conference dealing with economic issues. Now that everything has been settled. Or wait? Anyway. This producer's web site is Italian language only. The Terre Siciliane IGTparticular appellation is not prestigious (what do you expect for a $10 wine) and also isn't very specific with respect to allowed grapes or wine style. Santa Ninfa is at the northwest corner of Sicily right on the Mediterranean. It has many of your typical old Italian buildings including a Baronial Palace and churches. About 80% of the town was destroyed in the earthquake of 1968 but a lot has been rebuilt. The companion wine is also a rerun, a Kosher Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon at about half again the price.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Wine Reviewed Barone Montalto Nero D'Avola Cabernet Sauvignon Terre Siciliane IGT 2012 14 % alcohol about $9.
We can start by quoting the marketing materials "Tasting Note: Deep red violet colour; dark fruit and spice aromas and flavours; dry, medium to full bodied; long smooth finish. Serving Suggestion: Roast lamb or beef, meat pastas and grilled meats." And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was rather sweet and presented a little fruit, light acidity, and tannins. The meal kicked off with a potato knish (a potato and onion mixture in puffed pastry), which sharpened the acidity and lengthened the contents of my glass. The main dish was sauteed home made chicken breast nuggets in a combination of coriander, cumin, black pepper, garlic flakes, chilies, and turmeric. In response the libation's fruitiness and acidity intensified and some oak came out of the woodwork. The side dish of green beans in tomato sauce gave the drink a steely character.
The second meal began with Japanese rice crackers and Wasabi peas. In response our Sicilian friend was too, too acidic and thin with no tannins. When paired with the main dish, sliced beef over barley, the fermented juice barely moved but I did sense some black cherries. Upon adding a generous dose of green Yemeni jalapeno pepper mix to the meat, the wine took on the pepperiness. Fresh strawberries rendered the drink woody with balanced acidity.
The final meal began with Matjes herring. Now my libation was round and oaky with good dark fruit. Then came a salsa-based chili on a bed of quinoa. The liquid turned sweet and somewhat soft. Zesty guacamole darkened the wine and whisked away its tannins but the acidity in my glass was pleasant. Fresh blueberries somewhat muted the liquid and the acidity was almost gone.
Final verdict. I definitely have no plans to buy this wine again. At least until the everpresent economic crisis is really solved. Then maybe I won't need to consider $10 wines.
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Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine with the right foods and people. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com
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