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Professional Ratings: 93 The Wine Advocate, 90 Wine Spectator
Region: Sicily, Italy
Varietal: Nero d'Avola
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 110948
"Saia" is an ancient Arab word referring to small canals or viaducts built to hold water for use during the summer months. A restricted yield from Nero d'Avola vines averaging 20 years of age is hand harvested and fermentation is initiated in stainless steel tanks and lined vats, with a maceration on the skins of 15 days and regular punching down of the cap. A full malolactic fermentation is followed by 15 months in French oak barriques, of which half are new and half are of one year's use. Four months in bottle precede release.
Saia is opaque deep violet in color with aromas of dark and bitter red cherry, spearmint, spice and oak nuances. These lead into a velvety palate of lush, exotically concentrated fruit balanced by a fine acidic underpinning and ripe, sweet tannins. The long, penetrating finish ends on notes of wood, spice and pepper.
Incense, licorice and a host of other dark aromas and flavors emerge as the 2008 Saia (Nero d'Avola) opens up in the glass. The 2008 is more complex and nuanced than the 2009, but also firmer in style. Mint, tobacco and anise are some of the notes that develop over time. This striking, beautifully delineated red should continue to provide compelling drinking for a number of years. It is yet another example of a great Italian wine that over delivers for the money.
A spicy red, featuring crushed black cherry, blackberry and plum notes that carry hints of melted licorice, vanilla bean, incense and earth through to the slightly grippy finish. Drink now through 2014.