Wine Advocate 2109

Wine Advocate – October 2019 Week 3

In “Italy, Sicily: New Releases,” Monica Larner tastes 179 wines from Sicily, writing, “The Mediterranean island continues to be an excellent hunting ground for great value buys, but you’ll also find a few special gems hidden here within.”

MORGANTE “Don Antonio” Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC Riserva 2016 – 93+ points
“Behold the venerable Don Antonio, one of the first wines to put Nero d’Avola on the world map of native grapes. On the label of the 2016 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Riserva Don Antonio, you’ll notice that this wine is now identified as a Riserva, making use of the newly expanded appellation laws of the Sicilia DOC. This is a beautiful medium to full-bodied wine with the type of extraction and thickness that we remember from vintages past and the typical characteristics of the grape. Black fruit and Morello cherry is followed by black olive, grilled fennel, scorched earth and toasted pistachio with bitter chocolate. The aromas are all Sicily.”

MORGANTE Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC 2017 – 89 points
“The 2017 Sicilia Nero d’Avola is very characteristic of the grape, and this is a feat that the team at Morgante seems to nail almost every year. I consider these wines to be some of the most varietally true expressions you can find. The wine opens to a medium-dark color with garnet highlights followed by aromas of dark, almost cooked cherry with scorched earth, black olive and a light touch of wild Sicilian fennel. Drink this wine quickly while those Nero d’Avola characteristics are most intense.”

MORGANTE Bianco di Morgante Sicilia IGT 2018 – 88+ points
“This is a white wine made from red Nero d’Avola grapes. Morgante is highly specialized in Nero d’Avola, and that’s why they took this road when they made the 2018 Bianco di Morgante. This edition shows a better sense of balance, and it doesn’t have the hollowness you sometimes get with red grapes fermented off the skins. Nor is the wine void of color, as there are some light golden straw-like hues. Basically, this wine from red grapes really tastes and feels like a white wine, and it would feel right at home next to a platter of sushi.”

MORGANTE Sicilia Nero d’Avola Rosé di Morgante 2018 – 87 points
“Opening to a pale pink color that reminds me of a rosé from the South of France, the 2018 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Rosé di Morgante shows some of those distinctive notes of wild berry, crushed pistachio and olive that identify this Sicilian grape. However, those tones are mild and delicate, fitting very nicely into the context of this young wine. It’s easy drinking with Niçoise salad.”