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Sicily

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Sicily



A mere generation ago, there mightn't have been much to say here about Sicilian wine.  Apart from Marsala, the reds were mostly sold in bulk to fatten up pale wines from cooler European vintages, or lost in the production of vermouth somewhere. 

But with it's special place at the confluence of Mediterranean and North African cultures, there's been a modern day renaissance in wine and food here that is nothing short of a remarkable.  Australians have an affinity for this blend of warm Mediterranean climate, migrant culture and vibrant food.  Sicily just makes sense. 

Red or white?
Red production is dominated by Nero d'Avola, grown in most regions across the island. Ranging  from juicy medium bodied cherry fruited styles blended with the lighter Frappato, to sturdy dark, structured and plummy numbers that will appeal to Shiraz lovers.

Nerello Mascalese is exciting for its structured, fragrant and tannic wines, coming on high from the steep volcanic slopes of the still very active Mount Etna.  

Surprisingly, there's also plenty of white planted here, chief among them Carricante. Distinctively refreshing with notes of smoke, cut herbs and lemon tonic. 

Grapes
Carricante, Grillo, Nero d'Avola, Frappato, Nerello Mascalese

Favourite Producers
Occhipinti, COS, Terre Nere, Tenuta Aglaea, Feudo Montoni, Planeta, De Bartoli, Girolamo Russo, Passopisciaro


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  1. Vicoletto Sicilia Catarratto Bianco 2020
    Vicoletto Sicilia Catarratto Bianco 2020

    Made from Catarratto, a native grape to Sicily, which is cultivated in the northwestern part of the island. The soils are clay and sand, and the climate is very windy, cool, and dry. Small yields and dedicated winemaking combine to produce a wine that is fresh, versatile and enjoyable.

    The vivacity of Sicilian citrus and a hint of pineapple capture your attention, and a luscious texture typical of catarratto makes it perfect to match with seafood. Unfiltered, unfined, vegan, low sulphite.

    2020
    Carricante
    Italy
    482
  2. Sensale Grillo 2020
    Sensale Grillo 2020
    IF you don't know it Grillo is a native to the island of Sicily and the Sensale bottling from Cantine Europa has to be one of the best value options around. The wine comes from the western part of the island and is made without any use of oak and is deliberately styled for early and easy drinking.

    Notes of citrus, pear and stone fruits open with a bit of sea-spray action that lends a slightly salty twang to both the nose and pallet. There is definitely a bit of flesh and punchy fruit with citrus to the fore followed by a little stone fruit and minerally hit. We love the way the fruit and savoury clip play off each other in the mouth and just a little hint of bitterness make this the perfect pairing to Mediterranean seafood. Mwah!
    2020
    Grillo
    Italy
    482
  3. Babo Pinot Grigio 2020
    Babo Pinot Grigio 2020
    Babo's Pinot Grigio is sourced from this region--specifically from a 30-year-old site in San Martino al Tagliamento, near Pordenone. The vineyard sits at the base of the Alps and the soils are a mix of clay and alpine gravel from alluvial deposits. De-stemmed, crushed, steel tank, some skin contact and on lees for 20 weeks prior to bottling.

    Fleshy, soft with a little grip and texture.
    2020
    Pinot Grigio
    Italy
    482
  4. Babo Nero d'Avola 2018
    Babo Nero d'Avola 2018

    Hence, Babo's Nero is sourced from Sambuca di Sicilia, near Menfi, where the north facing, fossil-rich soils and cooling influence of both sea and nearby Lake Arancio, tend to produce a more subtle, spicy style of Nero d'Avola.

    Fruit is de-stemmed (no crushing) with lots of whole berries remaining in the ferment. With only a gentle extraction, the wine was pressed off skins after 10 days to mature in large-format oak (2,000-litre), where it stayed for only 10 months before bottling.

    2019
    Nero d'Avola
    Italy
    482
  5. Francois Villard Syrah L'Appel des Sereines 2018
    Francois Villard Syrah L'Appel des Sereines 2018
    Francois Villard was not born into wine; he started out his career as a chef. Today, makes wine from 64 hectares, of which he owns 40 hectares, purchasing fruit from the balance. Villard farms sustainably and waiting for organic certification. Villard tends to harvest later than his neighbors, optimizing ripeness and manages to captures an opulence and a freshness so beautifully in the glass.

    What an opening! Sweet and dark with blackberry, pastille and liquorice mixed in with hints of scorched earth, dried meats, leather and pepper. Its slick and slippery on the palate with a core of dark fruits that flows over your tongue while wild herbs and dark spice back it up. There is a slick polish to the fruit that slips and slides around while meaty, smoked goodness slowly creeps in. Classic looking northern styling with its peppery savouriness and lilac fruit. Fresh and cut with fine tannins and a burst of crunchy acidity. So nice!
    2018
    shiraz
    Italy
    482
  6. Feudo Montoni Grillo Timpa 2020
    Feudo Montoni Grillo Timpa 2020
    The 2020 Grillo Timpa is stunning, wafting up with exotic florals and citrus tones, as a more defined bouquet of tangerine, kiwi and candied ginger evolves with time in the glass. It fills the palate with silky waves of ripe tropical fruits, all kept in check through vibrant acidity and a twang of sour lime toward the close. Pineapple mingles with mango and papaya through the long, tension-filled finale, leaving the senses completely refreshed and aching for another sip. ERIC GUIDO, Vinous
    2019
    Grillo
    Italy
    482
  7. Aldo Viola Terre Siciliane Syrah "Guarini" 2013
    Aldo Viola Terre Siciliane Syrah "Guarini" 2013
    Yes, of course, I know: starting with a syrah from North-West Sicily could sound a bit provoking after all, with all those South-East Australian shirazes you guys have down under there… but I do like challenges, and Aldo Viola is by far the Rhôniest  of all Italian attempts at this beautiful grape - zero sulphites added, freshness, crispiness, graphite, and a touch of madness. The entry level wine (label with ladybird and green leaf) is matured in stainless steel vats only, whereas the "Plus" version is aged in French oak tonneaux (Aldo's training as both winedrinker and winemaker was heavily inspired by Southern France style, he actually got his vine cuttings in Tain l'Hermitage…). TABARRO
    2013
    shiraz
    Italy
    482
  8. Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2018
    Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2018
    From the zone of Randazzo, this is a step up in class. Light on its feet, Thalia has an undercurrent of power that builds in the glass. A mesmerising mix of bramble, sour cherries, smoked meats and wild herbs marries together. This 2019 shows darker depths of black fruits with some minerally ferrous tones. This has incredible staying power and class, all delivered in a lithely medium body. GABRIELLE POY, PWS
    2018
    Nerello Mascalese
    Italy
    482
  9. Passopisciaro Contrada Porcaria 2014
    Passopisciaro Contrada Porcaria 2014
    Good bright ruby-red. Very pure, super-ripe aromas of dark cherry, smoked beef, mocha and menthol. Rich, ripe and sweet on the palate, offering chewy dark fruit, red cherry jam and blood orange nectar flavors. Finishes big and meaty, delivering serious but fine-grained tannins and very good length. This decidedly opulent, plush wine has a super-ripe, air-dried quality to it and will be a big favorite of those who like Amarone and similarly styled wines. Mainly Nerello Mascalese. IAN D'AGATA, Vinous Media
    2014
    Nerello Mascalese
    Italy
    482
  10. Passopisciaro Contrada Porcaria 2017
    Passopisciaro Contrada Porcaria 2017
    Showing volume and generosity in terms of its aromatic delivery, the 2017 Contrada P is a mid-weight expression with forthcoming and immediate fruit aromas. Fruit is sourced from the Contrada Porcaria. The wine holds nothing back and instead delivers wild rose, cassis, aniseed and licorice. I love the carefree intensity and honesty with which this wine presents itself. There is a very subtle note of crushed white pepper on the close. MOINCA LARNER, Wine Advocate

    Wild cherry, crushed mint, forest floor and graphite aromas shape the nose on this gorgeous wine along with an earthy whiff of new leather. It's full bodied and elegantly structured, doling out Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and flinty mineral alongside enveloping, velvety tannins. (97) KERIN O'KEEFE, Wine Enthusiast
    2017
    Nerello Mascalese
    Italy
    482
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