This week let us sail away from the mainland, to the island of Sicily, where there is a lot of wine, and a volcano! Sicily’s reputation as a food and wine paradise has remained intact for more than 3,000 years. The Greeks arrived on the eastern part of Sicily in the 8th century BCE, and grape growing practices for the purpose of quality winemaking took root on the island. As the centuries passed, Phoenicians and Romans traded Sicilian wines based on their power and their distinctive qualities. The best vines were propagated, viticulture developed, and thus Sicilian wines were promoted on and off the island. Though many things have changed, most of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties continue to play an important role. Come in and enjoy the Island Life. Sicily!
Firriato, 'Feudi Branciforti dei Bordonaro' Catarratto, 2016, $13
100% Catarratto: very fresh, crispy and dry. It shows aromas of anise and orange blossom, followed by pear, peach. A typical Sicilian wine. Despite being grown almost exclusively in Sicily, it is one of Italy's most commonly planted grape varieties, making up around 60 percent of the island's total vineyard area.
Francesco Intorcia, Heritage Grillo, 2016, $19
100% Grillo: It is a wine that, with its complexity and minerality, best represents this area. It has distinct notes of citrus fruits and yellow fruits, also ripe, and pleasant hints of herbs and sweet spices. Intense, rich and embracing, it is smooth and warm on the palate. On the nose, it offers equally good sensations, with a surprisingly fresh and highly persistent aroma.
Esco Pazzo, Nero D'Avola, 2012, $11
100%Nero D’Avola. Fresh from Sicily's Mediterranean coast, this wine is a fruit forward and easy drinking expression of Sicily at its best. A medium bodied wine with a smooth and elegant structure, black fruits and spices and a long finish. This is a great pizza wine.
Firriato 'Chiaramonte' Nero d'Avola, 2015, $16
100%Nero D’Avola. It has an impeccable and fragrant fruit of surprising sharpness that reveals a profusion of scents that alternate in recalling plum and blackberries, black cherries and bilberries, cloves, black pepper, licorice, dark chocolate and humus. It admirably blends all its power with expressive delicacy revealing a suave depth; it has an assertive character that is well tempered by the silky and delightful tannins; the match between nose and palate is polished and extraordinary.
Masseria Setteporte, Etna Rosso, 2014, $25
Etna is The Volcano!! Grapes from thirty-year-old vines which dig their roots deep into the volcanic soil of Mount Etna. The wine is rustic, mineraly, at times even herbal, but with a smooth and generous fruity core. Intense ruby red color with a pleasantly fruity bouquet layered with red fruit and wild berries. The taste is dry, harmonious, elegant and persistent. An array of cherry, dried cranberry with a little chocolatey twist on finish on the palate. Well integrated tannins, good length. Little on the hot side with 14.5%, but still elegant mouthfeel.