‘Cantine Colosi’ Wine Review by Larisa Code

Note: Create joy, one sip at a time. 
Featured Wine: Cantine Colosi
Grape Variety: 100% Nero D’Avola
Production Zone: Sicily
Appellation: Sicilia DOC
Vintage: 2018
Maceration: Grapes left to macerate over grape skins for entire fermentation
Aging: Aged in stainless steel for six months and aged in bottle for three months
Winemaker: Piero Colosi
Color: Burgundy Red
Vegan
Price: Around $15
 
I had a wonderful month which included drinking some delicious wines, eating delicious food, spending time with wonderful people, old friends and new friends, sipping old wines and new wines, while enjoying weather where I can actually walk around barefoot and leave the windows wide open all night. So, yes, I left Flagstaff, Arizona.

I headed out for wild, wonderful and super filthy Los Angeles. This was my home for so long and yes, I still love it like you love an old friend. Honestly visiting LA, for me, is like going to see a long-lost friend. Unfortunately, this time my long-lost friend was going through a rough patch. Can you imagine, finally seeing a long-lost friend, expecting all drinks and laughs and reminiscing, but the visit is a little heavier than you expected because she is dealing with so much? Los Angeles is dealing with so very much. That is what I was thinking about when I popped open a bottle of Cantine Colosi and funnily enough it was the exact opposite.

As it is Nero D’Avola, I was expecting a very heavy wine and Colosi is not super heavy. You know what I mean? It was more like visiting an old friend who you thought was struggling but surprise, she is in a great space and super happy. Truly, I looked at the bottle and thought, oh hello, I know you, you are very powerful; but I was wrong. I mean, it is a powerful grape and the wine is not meek, though it is surprisingly lighter than most Nero D’Avola wines that I’ve had, and a little bit fruitier too. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover (or a wine by its label). Speaking of the label, it is beautiful; a beautiful representation of grape vines on an espalier, which is exactly how these grapes are grown.
 
Yes, this wine is not super heavy, but it is still heavy. It is described as a full-bodied wine but to me it is more of a medium bodied wine, or a lighter version of a full-bodied wine. I read that this wine is recommended to be served at 60 degrees, but I disagree. I suggest a little more chill. You can go as low as 45 degrees and I think you should. And as always, you gotta let this wine breathe; wait for the funk to disperse. Once it has dispersed, you are invited to meet the real Colosi and she is lovely.
 
Colosi vineyards pride themselves on growing exclusively autochthonous grape varieties, meaning said varieties are exclusively the result of natural cross breeding. In other words, they grow only indigenous grapes. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I love this. Growing indigenous grapes leads to less disease which means less pesticides, and therefore, the soil is healthier, filled with more micro-organisms leading to a better tasting wine.
 
Colosi winery started in the 1970’s and is now being run by the third generation as well as the second family member to study oenology.
The actual wine cellar is immersed among the vines and is partially buried in order to comply with strict regulations that are there to protect the territory.
 
Now to the best part, drinking wine!! When the wine reaches your glass, your eyes will rest on a lovely burgundy red; even if it isn’t your style, give it a little swirl and you will see why I feel it is more of a medium bodied wine.
 
The nose is full of damp earth and very ripe black cherry; my actual nose was tickled with a hint of citrus. 

The palate is full of sneaky tannins, semi-evolved, very ripe black cherry, fig and citrus. The acid jumps in and stops this wine from being sweet but it is sweeter than any other Nero D’Avola I’ve ever had. The finish is not long but not short (just like this wine is not sweet but sweetish), acidic, with a touch of that fig and cherry lingering. You can sip this without food, but it is so much better with food.

My first pairing was with moussaka, which I crave often but make rarely; they went really well together. My second pairing was with roasted lamb and as always Nero D’Avola plus any roasted meat is a great combination. If you aren’t in the mood for meat, grilled, fried or roasted eggplant would be a great substitute. Since I returned to Flagstaff, it has rained and snowed. If I was back in LA, I would fire up my grill and roast some lamb, or grill some steaks, or even wake up early and make moussaka, have a few friends over, sit outside, imagine where the stars would be in the sky if it wasn’t so lit up by the city surrounding us and just plain relax. A casual dinner, peonies in jars (the best part of spring, peonies at Trader Joe’s) with friends, listening to the mayhem of the city while we enjoy each-others company. Oh, how I miss city life, but I romanticize it the longer I am away. I have to remember that having friends over is always a task and needs to be planned around traffic and parking.

I think I am becoming a bit of a purist when it comes to vinification; if I have to choose between French oak or stainless steel, stainless steel is the one for me; why I don’t love French oak is because it imparts flavors outside of the grape; yet it does allow air to enter, allowing micro-oxygenation, which is good. Stainless steel doesn’t allow any breathing. Air cannot enter and interact with the wine, so no micro-oxygenation. As of late, I find myself seeking out wines aged in clay pots or concrete; very old school. The semi-porous concrete allows air to enter without imparting any new flavors. And this is a personal preference as I don’t love a lot of what oak barrels add to the mix. What’s my point? Well, wouldn’t it be amazing if wineries that used indigenous grapes also turned to modernized but classic wine making processes, using amphorae/concrete for aging?
 
Please enjoy Cantine Colosi, it is definitely a great deal, for a great wine, and enjoy it with old friends or new friends, with stars in the sky or just city lights. 

Saluti!

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