Please refer to our Privacy policy for important information on the use of cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to this.

bottles-hero

2017 NeroBufaleffj from Gulfi - a Sicilian red that flirts with perfection

November 2021

2017 NeroBufaleffj from Gulfi
"A Sicilian red that flirts with perfection"

Request To Buy


199855228_4549704261715400_8655567840485409791_n


Sicily keeps surprising me with highly individual wines and this wine is truly outstanding. Qualitatively, it is an absolute bargain, so if you are looking for an interesting red off the beaten track with capacity for mid-term cellarage, you should take a look at this. After all, it is off the beaten track where the greatest value for money can be found.
 
The wine in question is made from Nero d’Avola – an indigenous Southern Italian grape variety that I would have doubted could hit such heights had I not tasted this wine. The name ‘NeroBufaleffj’ may remind me of a line of Scrabble letters before I have arranged them into something intelligible, but it is actually the name of a ‘contrada’ or Grand Cru. Many of the top Sicilian producers have focused their attention on producing single vineyard Nerello Mascalese, but Gulfi is at the forefront of championing single vineyard Nero d’Avola. There has been a dramatic rise in quality at Gulfi; Ian d’Agata, who is, for me, far and away the most experienced and knowledgeable critic on Southern Italian wines, commented in 2019 that ‘Gulfi has made some of its best wines ever these last two years’. Having tasted this 2017 yesterday, I have to agree – it is off the charts.
 
The variety
 
This indigenous Italian grape variety (Nero d’Avola) barely gets a mention in my old, dog-eared copy of Jancis Robinson’s Vines, Grapes and Wines, which possibly reveals how it had fallen out of favour in the 1980s. Fortunately, that has since changed and today there are a good range of hugely impressive examples from this often-overlooked variety that are being championed by clued-up critics. Its name, d’Avola, comes from the southern part of the province of Syracuse in Sicily, where it is highly regarded for producing age-worthy wines. However, it is also known as Calabrese, hinting at the fact that it is equally at home on the mainland, in Puglia and as its name suggests, the toe of Italy, Calabria.
 
The estate 
 
Gulfi was established in the 1970s by Raffaele Catania; his son Vito took over the running of the estate in 1995, but today it is run by his sons Matteo and Raffaele. Their Nero d’Avola vineyards lie in south-eastern Sicily in an area known as Pachino, within the much larger Noto region. In fact, the Catania family has been fighting for years to get this subzone recognised, as it is capable of far higher quality than the rest of the district. As you might expect of such an estate, they have Nerello Mascalese vines on the slopes of Mount Etna too, but it is their Nero d’Avola that is the principal focus. The curiously named Bufaleffj vineyard is in Pachino, close to the coast at just 50 metres above sea level. The vineyard possesses a complex base of black clay, white limestone and red sand.


2017 NeroBufaleffj, Gulfi
£195 per 6 bottle case in bond

My note: 
Having been aged for two years in large oak, the 2016 NeroBufaleffj is deep in the glass, purplish in hue. The nose is a captivating melange of juicy ripe fruits, notes of dark cherry, wild hedgerow fruits, something unmistakably Mediterranean too. It is fragrant and lifted with hints of exotic spice and a subtle sense of baked fruit. That sense of baked fruit is barely echoed on the palate, which shows terrific richness of fruit, mouth-filling and seamless but with a bright acidity underlying the gloriously presented fruit. This is truly outstanding; deep, dark fruits meld with lively red cherry nuances on an expansive palate that never loses its poise. The ability of Nero d’Avola to produce seamless wines that are so balanced yet rich is seldom showcased as well as this. Long and refined, this is absolutely stunning. If I scored wines by points, relative to its origins and the gamut of wines in Southern Italy, this would be flirting with perfection. Exceptional. Drink now - 2034 (SL)


95 points, Eric Guido, vinous.com
The 2017 NeroBufaleffj keeps you at the edge of the glass with a bouquet that mixes dark floral elegance with depths of intense fruit and an almost animalistic nature. Its rich velvety textures wash across the palate, finding contrast as masses of tart blackberries and cherries, minerals and wild herbs saturate deeply. Inner rose and violet notes hover above a blend of residual acids and gripping tannins, creating a push and pull of tension, as this finishes structured and incredibly long. Lose this tamed beast of a Nero d’Avola in the cellar for at least a few years. The Bufaleffj vineyard is just a stone's throw away from Baronj, yet its mix of black and red clay, iron and limestone delivers completely different results. Drink 2022-2030
 
Please let us know of your interest,
 
All the best
 
Simon 

 
Gulfi_Vini-NeroBufaleffj_high-bottiglia
New Releases

2020 Timorasso Derthona, Colli Tortonesi, Vietti
The outstanding 2019 releases from Weingut Tement
Two Barolo Riserva from Oddero
2014 Vilmart Brut ‘Coeur de Cuvée’
2016 Riesling, Grand Cru Hengst, Josmeyer
2018 Quinta do Noval Reserva
Two outstanding Barbaresco from Vietti
2019 Il Rosato, Conterno-Nervi
2016 Barolo Collector's Case, Arnaldo Rivera
2010 Rioja, Viña Tondonia Reserva, López de Heredia
2019 Laurel, Clos I Terrasses
2019 Curly Flat Pinot Noir And Chardonnay
2017 Subtil, Serral del Roure, Recaredo
2019 Chardonnay, Dog Point
2020 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape From Mont Olivet
2015 Barolo, Rüncot Riserva, Elio Grasso
2019 Las Gravas, Casa Castillo
2019 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Domaine Latour-Giraud
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Fuligni
2016 Etna Rosso Riserva 'Rovitello Particella No. 341', Benanti
A trio of outstanding Champagnes from de Sousa
Ettore Germano - 2016 Lazzarito Riserva and 2018 Prapò
2018 Rosé de Saignée, Hundred Hills
2020 M3 Chardonnay, Shaw + Smith
2020 Mount Barker Riesling, Capel Vale
 2019 Pinot Bianco Riserva ‘Vorberg’, Cantina Terlano
The 2019 Barbaresco from La Ca' Nova
2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lieu-Dit Pignan, Georges Lelektsoglou
The exceptional 2018s from Hundred Hills
Christmas gifting and delivery deadlines
2017 NeroBufaleffj, Gulfi
2018 Shiraz, Sanguine Estate
Two New Champagnes from de Sousa
2019 Pinot Noir and 2020 Chardonnay from Hannes Storm
Champagnes from Egly-Ouriet
2015 Barolo Riserva ‘Vigna Lazzarito’, Ettore Germano
2019 Chenin Blanc Reserve, DeMorgenzon

Back to all New Releases...



To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

Contact Us

Thank you. Your message will be with us shortly.
If you wish to write us another message please return to the homepage.
We'll be in touch soon.

Go Back

Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

Atlas House, 1 King Street
London, EC2V 8AU
T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
F: +44 (0) 20 3017 2290
W: atlasfinewines.com 
E: info@atlasfinewines.com