Funaro IGT Terre Siciliane Nero d’Avola - $15.99
We are especially pleased to share with you a brand new producer from one our favorite Italian regions–Funaro from Sicily. There is no question that, when it comes to value and innovation in Italian winemaking, it is tough to beat Sicily. Whether you love big, burly reds, or soft, fragrant ones, Sicily’s got an answer for that. Add to that a rich culture emphasizing organics and natural winemaking, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Funaro has been doing things right for some time, and they are crafting some of the most best humble Sicilian bottlings we’ve ever tasted. This month we explore their varietal Nero d’Avola.
Funaro’s electric Nero d’Avola toes the line between the beefier, more tannic expressions that were once common with this variety, and the fresher, more Frappato-like character that we look for in Sicilian reds. Ample acidity and minerality are on display here, with black and blue fruits along with a flurry of Mediterranean herbs. Ripe yet elegant, it is the perfect red for these colder months, and yet it will also take well to a light chill if you’re in the mood as we sometimes are. For a real treat, try it with our recipe for Pork Chops with Cherry Pepper Sauce.
The Funaro estate, led by siblings Tizinia, Giacomo, and Clemente, was converted to organics years ago, and certified finally in 2011–no small feat in a climate like Sicily, for an estate producing wines this reasonably priced. Their environmental focus goes beyond their vines and winemaking, too, with an emphasis on sustainability in all of their packaging, from lighter glass to recycled paper labels. Back to the wine, though. Funaro’s Nero is sourced from Salemi, a region at over 100 meters above sea level, with soils rich in loam. The wine is fermented naturally before being aged in steel to preserve vivacity.