- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rapitala, “Nuhar,” Sicilia, 2003, $12

This Sicilian red wine, a blend of 70 percent nero d’avola and 30 percent cabernet sauvignon, is a great choice for casual entertaining.

Medium-bodied, it displays rich, ripe fruit flavor, with only moderate tannins, making it an attractive choice on its own as well as a good partner for all sorts of party foods.

Sicilian reds sometimes can seem hot and clunky, the result of all the searing sunshine on the island. This is especially true in the oppressively hot 2003 vintage, making a balanced wine proved tricky.

Congratulations, then, to the winemakers at Tenuta Rapitala, since they managed to fashion such a well-structured, accessible red in a difficult year. As a bonus, they are selling it at an attractive price.

The imbalanced currency exchange between the dollar and the euro these days means that the price tags on many European wines keep creeping higher. There are still bargains to be found, however, and this is definitely one of them.

This is very much a wine to enjoy rather than ponder, so it is perfect for pizza, burgers and all sorts of casual fare. (Imported by Frederick Wildman.)

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