Before Sicilians began to market nero d'avola as a stand-alone grape worthy of wine recognition, its robust flavor made it marketable to be blended with more "name-brand" old world red wines. The more I learned about this grape, the more I became intrigued. I hoped that other brands of nero d'avola would share the earthy, cellar-like qualities that I enjoyed in the first bottle. This in mind, I picked up two new brands, Arancio (100% nero d'avolo) and Bovo (60% syrah/40% nero d'avolo).
Cutting to the chase, neither one quite hit the mark. The Arancio held a much stronger tannic backbone, with only a faint breath of any mossy softness. The Bovo was more rounded, without the slight coarseness I found in the Arancio. It still didn't have the supple finesse of that first bottle, however. Not to say either one was a "bad choice," but they weren't quite what I had developed a taste for. They did make a nice partner for a rich dinner of cassoulet, so I can't say it was a total bust.