Saturday, February 03, 2007

Nadir Tenuta Rapitala’ 2004 – Sicilian Sun in a glass

Tenuta Rapitala, producer of Rapitala’, is located just outside of Palermo. When I think about areas of Italy I invariably think about the local foods and the wines. Somehow the food represents the people, the culture and the air of the region itself. Sicily is no different. While Sicily is not well known for its wines there are numerous great, unsophisticated table wines that compliment the local cuisine. I admit that I do not go out looking for Sicilian wines but if one comes my way I am more than happy to try it. Recently I have been presently surprised by several varieties that ended up on my table. A good friend dropped by the house around lunch and brought a few bottles of wine. While I heated something to eat we opened a bottle of Nadir Syrah by Tenuta Rapitala’ 2004.

We are not big drinkers of Syrah, preferring the autochthon Italian wines. We were expecting a spicy wine with the defining characteristics of the California Syrah. Instead Nadir Syrah by Tenuta Rapitala’ 2004 was a flavorful and mellow wine. It is a simple wine. As glasses were filled and emptied, the refreshing, fruity flavor continued giving. Nadir Syrah by Tenuta Rapitala’ is a perfect wine for every day meals, drinking alone or with appetizers. The tannins while present were merely a supporting characteristic. The aging process most likely explains this characteristic. Only 20% of the wine is aged in medium toasted oak barrels for a few months. The wine is then transferred back to the remaining wine to continue aging for 12 months. The result is a wine that accentuates the flavor of the fruit on not the tannins.

The winery suggests that this wine is served with red meats, fowl and aged cheeses. This is not a complex wine so I would serve this for every day dinners, most first plates of pasta, risotto and minestrone. For those who do not drink whites Nadir Syrah by Tenuta Rapitala’ can be a great before dinner wine with appetizers and even alone.

Grape: Syrah

Color: Intense Ruby Red.

Bouquet: Mature fruit with a hint of violets.

Taste: Encompassing, a hint of tannins, not sweet, not dry, and a slight hint of vanilla.

Alcohol Content: 13.5 %

Serving Temperature: 16-18 c, cooler if consumed before dinner.

Decanting: None.

Pouring: Pour slowly with a 15-20 degree inclination.

Glass: Red wine glass.

Aging: Although I have not attempted to store this wine its general characteristics lead me to believe that this will be a good table wine for a couple of years but may not age well.

Notes: The winery will allow visits. When in Palermo, call the company a day or two before to see the process, the cellar and try the variety of reds, whites and rose’ they produce.
Tenuta Rapitalà
90043 Camporeale (PA)
Phone: 0924 37233
Fax: 0924 36115


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