A hollow of volcanic origin circumscribes a historic plot of land in the Pachino area. Here the nature of the soil is told by the diversity of its colours, ranging from black clay, to white limestone, to red sand. The land boasts a richness that is transmitted to the historic vineyards and that, translated into wine, is expressed in the complexity of this Nerobufaleffj, a fine selection of Nero d'Avola, with a surprising structure and softness as well as mineral note, typical of vineyards that breathe the sea air.
The Bufaleffi vineyard extends to an altitude of 50 m for about 2.5 hectares in the Bufaleffi district of Pachino, at the extreme tip of south-eastern Sicily, in Val di Noto. This vineyard, which lies in the middle of an ancient, circular volcanic trench, is characterised by a very particular soil diversity that goes from black clay, to white limestone, to red sand. In this part of southern Sicily, further south than Tunisia, there is a temperate to warm Mediterranean climate. The planting density is 7000 vines per hectare, grown as small trees. The non-irrigated vineyards are over 40 years old with a natural yield that does not exceed 40 quintals per hectare.
Nero d'Avola is considered to be the most typical and representative red grape variety of Sicily. The Calabrian synonym is an Italianisation of the dialectal name, "Calaurisi", which literally means "grape (cala)of Avola (aurisi)". In both versions of the word reference is made to the town of Avola, a municipality in the province of Syracuse, indicating that the vine was selected by growers from that area. From there, it has spread to other municipalities of the Val di Noto, Ragusano and Calatino; only recently has it expanded throughout all of Sicily. The most suitable vineyards can produce excellent red wines, perfect for ageing, if they are cultivated according to the traditional techniques developed throughout history, adapted to face the local torrid climate without resorting to irrigation. The aromatic element, arising from the ripe richness of the dark fruit, is marked by flavours of oregano and sun-dried tomato, linked by a range of, brackish Mediterranean undertones. The initial dense, sweet aromas are followed by a lively acidity that finishes with a lingering, flavourful embrace.
Frappato comes from the Vittoria area, and today, is especially widespread in the provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse. It needs to be cultivated with measured yields and it offers particularly sweet and fine tannins which, together with its aromatic notes, mark the identity of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a prestigious wine since the time of the Romans. Frappato, vinified alone, produces a greatly persuasive wine, with clean, mature fruity aromas that are the ideal complement to the more powerful Nero d'Avola, increasing its complexity.
The grapes harvested after mid-September are vinified as a red wine with a long maceration of the must with the skins. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into small 500 and 225-litre barrels where it remains for about 24 months. Bottling is followed by a period of refinement in the bottle of about two years.
Of the four crus of the Val di Noto, this wine has a distinct energising acidity, typical of Nero d'Avola. Over time it develops an elegant texture, boasting particularly refined tannins. It becomes a magnificent red wine to pair with elaborate and intense fish-based dishes, dishes with wild mushrooms and fatty meats, prepared in various ways. We recommend a serving temperature of no more than 18 degrees.