I haven't written this bottling up for awhile but I'm sure glad I picked up the current vintage at my local shop last weekend. I'm not sure why, but entry level Nero d'Avolas can be so elegant and almost burgundy-like, translucent with wonderful secondary aromas and flavors. The more expensive examples that are deep, dark and heavily extracted are, for my money, frequently one dimensional and less interesting.
Tenuta Rapitala's vines for this bottling sit at around 400 meters in altitude and the soil is mostly sand and clay. It's fermented in stainless steel and then 20% of the wine gets four months in used oak - just enough to give it some structure and spice without overshadowing the fruit. This is about as pleasing and flavorful as you can get for $9.99.
Light see-through ruby in color, the aromas yield spicy black cherry and raspberry with supporting elements of leather and iron. With a velvety texture, the medium bodied red berry flavors finish long and pleasant with soft tannins and a note of bitter cherry on the back end. This went great with balsamic glazed chicken wings and pasta with pesto. Imported by one of my faves, Frederick Wildman. Cheers.