Rapitala - 2007 "Nuar" Nero d'Avola / Pinot Noir

I’ve always found it fascinating to taste wines of any price point. But I have a particular curiosity for wines in the under $20 range. While it’s certainly quite possible to find a good or great value in any price range, under $20 is different. Many more folks are interested in those types of values. So I’m constantly on the lookout for those wines, both for myself as good everyday values and so that I can recommend them to my friends and of course my readers. Today I’m going to look at an Italian blend that hit the mark for me. The Tenuta Rapitala 2007 Nuar is a blend of Nero d’Avola (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%). Tenuta Rapitala has an estate of 70 acres in Sicily; of these they have 28 under vine. They are somewhat hilly acres which vary from 100-300 meters above sea level. The Nero d’Avola was fermented in stainless steel while the Pinot Noir spent nine months in small French oak casks. It was blended just before bottling and was then given some additional months to age in bottle. This offering has a suggested retail price of $15.99.

Red rose and hints of violet are joined by a cornucopia of red fruit aromas on the lovely, even keeled nose of this 2007 Sicilian blend. Both dried and fresh red fruit flavors are prominent throughout the palate; cranberry, cherry, wild strawberry and raspberry are all present. Subtle cocoa, lots of black pepper, sour cherry and wisps of earth are all part of the finish on this wine. Soft tannins and firm acidity mark the easygoing charm of this selection.

Without question this is a food lovers wine. Whether you pair it with hard flavorful cheeses, a dish of pasta in red sauce or a plate of salami this wine will perform well. For $15.99 (closer to $13 if you shop around) this is a tasty wine that you can pull out any day of the week without breaking the budget.