Alto Nero d'Avola represents the newest release from Tenuta Rapitala. This single vineyard wine is an elegant expression of Sicily's most important grape.
Terroir: Alto is sourced from a single high altitude vineyard on a 12 acre parcel of Rapitala's 500+ acres estate. The vineyard lies between at a high elevation of 1,300 to 1,700 feet and is planted to 10 year old cordon-spur trained Nero d'Avola vines. The terrain is dry and steep forcing the vines to dig deep into the barren soil. This high-altitude location sees significant diurnal changes in temperature, allowing for greater aromatic complexity and the development of a strong acidic backbone in the final wine.
Vinification: Fruit is hand harvested and brought to the cellars in small crates to avoid disturbing the ripe grapes. The grapes are cooled at the winery right at the foot of the vineyards. The must is macerated and vinified with pump-overs in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Following racking the young wine is transferred into third use or older French oak barriques where it will rest for five months before another racking and an additional 7 months in larger 50 hl oak barrels. The goal is a slow and delicate aging that stabilizes tannins and polyphenols.
The 2010 Rapitala Alto is a terroir-driven Nero d'Avola with a concentrated typicity seen its deep, ruby color, a generous bouquet of ripe red fruits and vanilla, and a full, round, delicious flavor with a spicy, red-fruit finish. Serve with lasagne, roasts and red meats also accompanied by delicate sauces; creamy cheeses, flans and soufflés. It is also enjoyable on its own or with exotic pairings.
Score: 88 PointsWine Enthusiast Author: Kerin O'Keefe
"This brawny Nero d'Avola, aged in both barriques and casks, opens with aromas of ripe blackberry, plum, coffee and vanilla. The dense, one-dimensional palate offers mature blackberry layered with milk chocolate."
Score: 92 PointsWine & Spirits Author: Joshua Greene
"From a single block on the Rapitala estate, this grows at elevations rising from 1,300 to 1,700 feet. The altitude and poor soils create a mouth-watering nero d'Avola with transparency to its red plum flavor and enough muscular tannins to take a beating in a decanter. There are nuances of earth and floral notes to balance the wine's brawn so it feels cool and spicy. Pour it with seared duck breast."
Score: 88 PointsThe Wine Advocate Author: Monica Larner
"You absolutely cant mistake the 2010 Sicilia Nero dAvola Alto Nero for anything but Nero dAvola. The aromas of scorched earth and toasted pistachio nut are a dead giveaway. Theres loads of fruit packed tight within and the tannins are smooth and soft. Drink 2014-2018."
Score: 89 PointsWine Enthusiast Author: Monica Larner
"Notes of bold black fruit, prune, tobacco and toasted almond open the rich bouquet of this dense wine. Creamy and soft on the finish, this would pair well with roasts of chicken or pork."
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