Pre-Phylloxera Vines - Utterly Compelling
2014 Montoni Nero d'Avola Vrucara

Posted by Ian McFadden

For those obsessed with Italian wine, Montoni's Nero d'Avola Vrucara has long been a wine to reckon with.

This wine from pre-phylloxera vines is seriously impressive. It's easily one of Sicily's greats.

As Vinous Media's Ian D'Agata writes, “the estate's Nero d’Avola Vrucara has always been one of the best Nero d’Avola wines made." The explanation is simple: ancient vines, high elevation vineyards, and thoughtful winemaking, including a 25-day maceration.

Nero d'Avola is often rendered with plush textures sadly lacking the backbone and snap one wants. Vrucara works on an entirely different wavelength. It's tightly wound, precise and has a pointed length. In short, Vrucara has a dead serious architecture.

The name Vrucara refers to the vineyard, which is named after a Sicilian bush species known locally as vruca. The menthol-scented herb is found in and around the vineyard and makes its presence felt in the wine.

The 2014 is full of herbal nuances and has a regal, constantly evolving complexity. The way that Montoni is able to manage the tannins boldly displays just how careful the winemaking is; you get the firmness of a wine that will evolve magnificently while still showing an attractive silkiness. Vrucara's multifaceted personality is fascinating, offering up notes of red cherry and black plums, licorice, herbs, tobacco, and spice.

The Sireci family purchased the Montoni estate back in the 1800s after discovering a plethora of old vines of indigenous grape varieties. Today, the estate is overseen by third-generation winemaker, Fabio Sireci.

I haven't tasted a wine that shows Nero d'Avola's potential as compellingly as Vrucara. Of course, the wine reaches much further than simply the best example of the grape that I've tasted. This is a bottle that demands your attention in a much larger context - it's just an important wine. I strongly encourage you to check it out and to leave at least one bottle around to see how it evolves.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare
Crush Wine & Spirits