Friday, July 15, 2016

Last evening our meeting with Diego Cusumano proved to be a wonderful opportunity to continue our education on the wines of Sicily.
Cusumano Winery is  family owned headed by Francesco Cusumano and his two sons.  Son,  Diego Cusumano was in Los Angeles as part of a U.S. marketing tour promoting their wines.
Sicily has a fascinating wine history dating back to the time 2500 BC when colonizing Greeks first settled there.
In the 21th century Sicilian winemakers and vineyard owners, like the Cusumanos, have moved the Island to a new era using both original native and more modern varietals. Much of this new era of wine centers around Nero d'Avola, a native red grape now found throughout the Island. It initially is thought to originate in
Now these old varietals have taken on a new life and the result is  Sicilian wines have achieved new attention from Americans.
Our opportunity to taste Cusumano wines took place at the Sotto Restaurant in west Los Angeles and included a dinner featuring Sicilian dishes and four different pizzas for which Sotto has achieved fame.
We opened with Alta Mora, a white wine made with Carricante, a Sicilian indigenous varietal.  It was excellent, bright yellow in color, a fruit aroma and rich in spicy flavors with a dry finish.
We then tasted two Cusumeno wines made with one hundred per cent Nero d'Avola.  The family owns a thousand acres of vineyards in Sicily spread over several different terroirs and regions.
One was a 2014 Nero D'Avola which was full flavored with tannins mellowed and a long finish
The second Cusumano Nero d'Avola from San Giacomo vineyards and of 2013 vintage.  Its age in bottles showed with smooth flavors, full body and a velvety finish..
Until recently few wines from Sicily reached the U.S. but that is changing and more of its vintages, like those of the Cusumano family,  are now reaching American markets and being featured in restaurant wine lists and at retail outlets.

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