Lodi calls itself the Zinfandel capital of the world and deservedly so. According to the Lodi Winegrape Commission the region produces 40% of California’s premium Zinfandel. But the region is also home to more than 100 wine grape varieties. Nero d’Avola is now among those grape varieties thanks to Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyards in Acampo. The 2014 Lange Twins Nero d’Avola is the winery’s first vintage of this Sicilian variety.
2014 Lange Twins Nero D’Avola — medium ruby-garnet in the glass with generous cherry and red rose aromas with hints of dusty earth. Red raspberry, cherry and blackberry flavors combine with backnotes of black tea and dusty earth. Tannins are drying and well integrated with the flavors. Bright acidity winds through the wine. The body is light to medium and the finish, which is moderate+ in length, includes tannins, lingering fruit flavors and stony minerality. 13% abv. $20
This wine has lovely fruit flavors, without being at all too ripe, and is balanced with bright acidity and nice tannins. I really appreciate its relatively low abv as well. And the price is not a typo, at $20 it’s a steal. In short, it’s really delicious and easy to drink on its own. But this lovely Nero d’Avola is a food wine as well. We enjoyed it with a wild mushroom pizza, recreating a pairing we enjoyed when we visited Sicily. The meal took us back to a balmy evening in Ragusa Ibla.
Lange Twins describes their winemaking style as hands off and after fermentation the Nero d’Avola was aged in neutral French and American oak for 18 months. As you drive into Lange Twins winery, the 3.62 acre Red Tail Vineyard is on your left. The Nero d’Avola was planted in 2012 and joins other red Italian varieties including Sangiovese, Aglianico, Barbera and Teroldego being farmed by Lange Twins in various Lodi locations.
My first introduction to Nero d’Avola came at a Sicilian wine tasting at a local wine shop in 2014. That tasting prompted us to plan a vacation in Sicily where we tasted Nero d’Avola many times. Now we have circled back to another local tasting of Nero d’Avola that has left me impressed. As much as I enjoy Zinfandel, I will continue to look for other varieties in Lodi to love. Bet I won’t have to look too hard.