2019 Nicolò Grippaldi 'Salvatore' Nero d'Avola
What a unique wine, made from estate-grown, biodynamic Nero d'Avola planted from cuttings of a 100+ year old pergola grown vine on the original property which was tended by Nicolo's greatgrandfather. You don't often see red wines with the noble rot Botrytis, as it is difficult to control in the cellar. But since Nicolò watches over every part of his process by himself, he was able to control this fruit into something so interesting and unique. The aromas and flavors recall his other Nero d'Avola based wine, the Dei Pinti, but the botrytis seems to have completely changed the texture of the wine, turning those fierce, lean tannins into a creamy, rich and unusually textured medium bodied wine. The combination of intensely perfumed incense-like dark earth, aromatic wood, balsamic and super dense black and red fruit is unlike anything I've tasted before. This wine, like all of Nicolò's, changes substantially the more time you have it in the glass. I haven't been able to let a bottle fully oxidize yet, even though I've had a few open for almost a week. I seem to keep finishing whatever's left in the bottle! Since the first vintage from this producer was only in 2018, we don't really know what the lifespan and development of this wine int he cellar will be like, although I suspect it will be long.
95 points, James Suckling. "A beautifully curated and textured red with blackberry, cherry, and walnut. Perfumed. Medium-bodied with creamy tannins and a light hazelnut and dark-berry finish. Some dark mushroom and bark too. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2023."