Terre Nere Etna Rosso
The other evening I did a wine tasting for a client where the theme was "Springtime in Italy." We had some outstanding wines that night, including a Fiano di Avellino, which I had never had before.
My favorite, though, was the 2006 Terre Nere Etna Rosso. The Terre Nere vineyards are located in Sicily's Mt. Etna, at extremely high altitudes ranging from 2100-2900 feet above sea level. The climate at high altitudes--hot direct sunlight but cool shade and cold nights--makes the wines of Etna extraordinarily fine and elegant. However, it can also be very changeable and unpredictable, making growing grapes pretty risky.
The wine had a really interesting, funky herby aroma, and flavors of tart cherries and strawberries. It was a perfect partner for the dish served alongside--Swordfish topped with a rustic tomato sauce, along with capers and olives. I can also see sipping it with any herbed dish--rosemary lamb chops, pesto chicken or pork tenderloing with thyme or tarragon.
At $55, the wine is definitely not a budget option. But it's enjoyable now, and for the next 4 years. You can find it at http://www.finewine.com/.