DECEMBER DIRT - HORUS VITTORIA NERO D'AVOLA 2018
Horus Vittoria Nero d'Avola 2018 - $34.99
Nero d’Avola, on the other hand, has always been Sicily’s best known variety. For a while, many on the island tried crafting more new-worldly expressions of the naturally dark and brooding grape with higher levels of extraction, alcohol, and oak. Fortunately, those trends have reversed and we’re seeing a renaissance of great Nero d’Avola creeping up at the great estates like Horus. Naturally dark, deep, and herbal, when picked early and reared in cement or neutral oak, great Nero can have the elegance and finesse to rival the great reds of the Southern Rhône. Horus’ is charmingly balanced, with its black fruits framed by notes of black pepper and violet, all rounded out by impressively silky tannins.
Horus’ Nero, like their Frappato, comes from sandy soils in the Ragusa district of Vittoria. It is also fermented naturally and aged in neutral vessels. Horus was founded just in 1974 by the Guidice family, intending to foster more organic viticulture in the Vittoria district. Organic from the get-go, they have bolstered the status of organic viticulture in the region. Nero d’Avola is often likened to ‘Sicilian Syrah’ due to its tendency toward dark fruit and a significantly herbal character, all the while being relatively fresh and low in alcohol (relatively speaking). As such, Horus’ iteration reminds us of the best and most elegant Côte Rôties, with an unmistakably Sicilian bent, of course.