Thursday, June 6, 2024

The phoenix rises! The superb Tenuta Fenice Nero D’Avola. “I think my grandfather would have been very proud.”

Tenuta Fenice Nero D’Avola Sicilia (DOC) 2021, 14% ABV

€16.00 Bubble Brothers.

The phoenix rises! A superb wine. “I think my grandfather would have been very proud.”

This rich, ruby-coloured wine is made from vines abandoned for decades after a devastating earthquake in western Sicily in 1968.

Dino Taschetta tells quite a story on his label: “…Residents had no choice but to

abandon their properties and soon, there was nothing but ghost towns. Rebuilding took place on lower slopes, and I’d long wondered what became of my grandfather’s vineyard.”

He found the wild and uncultivated vines producing “jewel-like grapes with amazing flavours”. Thus encouraged, Dino began the restoration and, in 2017, made his first “revived” vintage and it was a superb wine. “I think my grandfather would have been very proud.”

The 2021 vintage has vibrant cherry and blackberry fruit, plus notes of liquorice. Rich dark fruits, now augmented with plum and with sweet spice, shine in a lively and balanced mouthful, with pliable tannins involved also as this lively wine reaches a long and satisfactory finish.

Very Highly Recommended. “The phoenix rises again (la fenice risorge).” As the label proclaims! 

In the 2015 revision of Wines and Grapes, Nero D’Avola just about got a paragraph. But it was well on the rise then and has been since even if most of it is grown on the island of Sicily. It is the island’s most important red grape. It “is often likened to Cabernet Sauvignon” according to Wine Folly who recommends it as “a great wine to match with rich..meat” in particular oxtail soup and beef stew. 

  • This post is part of a series of Italian wines produced by usually small or medium-sized organic wineries made from native grapes. Taking some “guidance” here from the recently published VINO. Mightn’t always net the hat trick but hope to score two from the three each time. I have quite a few lined up but I’m happy to consider any suggestions or help. #OrganicItaly
  • See the ever-growing Organic Italy list at
  • This Nero D’Avola may not be organic but it does score on the other two requirements - small winery and native grape.

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