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Tasca D'Almerita Sicilia Tenuta Regaleali Lamuri Nero D'Avola 2017
Set in the rolling hills of the lower Madonie mountains in the heart of Sicily , the Regaleali estate has helped put the island on the map for quality terroir-driven wines. The property was purchased in 1830 by brothers Lucio and Carmelo Mastrogiovanni Tasca, two pioneering innovators who modernised and reinvigorated the farm by bringing advanced agricultural technology and new ideas to the isolated Sicilian countryside.
Many generations later the Tasca family is still closely involved with the winery and continues that forward-thinking philosophy by focusing on sustainable viticultural practices and use of indigenous grape varieties like this stunning Nero D’Avola. Made in a fruit-forward style, this delicious red takes its name from the Sicilian word for “love” which is behind all of the hard work that goes into making this bottle.
On the nose there are enchanting notes of ripe plums, cherries and cassis as well as hints of cigar box from the 12 months of ageing in French oak. The first sip reveals a full body and well-defined tannins which will respond gracefully to another few years of bottle ageing. Alternatively it's a great wine to enjoy now with a hearty tomato-based pasta dish or even with pizza.
Cantina Cellaro Due Lune Nerello Mascalese – Nero D’Avola 2017
Located in Sambuca di Sicilia some 40 miles southwest of Palermo, Cantina Cellaro works with many growers to craft exceptional wines from the local terroir. The enology team carefully analyses the microclimate and soils of each vineyard plot and collaborates with the grower to ensure yields are kept to a minimum and quality is closely controlled. This way of working gives the Cantina access to top quality fruit from across the region.
Due Lune is crafted from two classic Sicilian varieties, Nerello Mascalese and Nero d’Avola. The Nerello is partially dried after harvest by cutting the vine branches and leaving the fruit for up to 20 days so the grapes lose around 20% of their water content. This helps to concentrate the sugars and the flavours. The must is then vinified and aged in French and American oak barrels for 6 months before bottling.
Dark chocolate, cherry, and luscious crushed berry notes define the nose, while the palate has a generous full body, silky smooth texture and soft tannins with intense dark fruit flavours that linger on the finish. Opulent and full-throttled, this classic Sicilian red is ideal for pairing with hearty tomato-based pasta dishes, steak, or barbecued meats.
Graci Etna Rosato 2018
Mount Etna is a very special place for winemaking thanks to the black lava soils and altitude which can reach up to 1000 metres above sea level or more. Alberto Graci’s family have been making wine in Sicily, but Graci initially decided to pursue a career in banking in Milan until his grandfather’s death brought him back to the family winery. Today Graci owns 18 hectares in the Contrada Arcuria vineyard which sit at between 600-1000 metres of altitude, and he is also Vice President of the Consorzio covering the Etna DOC region.
Graci’s Etna Rosato is made from organically-grown Nerello Mascalese grapes, Etna’s most famous black grape variety, which thrives in the volcanic soils. To preserve the freshness and varietal character the wine is fermented in concrete tanks and matured in stainless steel for six months.
The result is a pale salmon-hued rosé which opens on the nose with seductive notes of crushed strawberries, raspberries and dried herbs. On the palate there is mouthwatering freshness, bright red berry flavours and hints of smoky minerality from the volcanic soils. The refined, fruit-forward character of this wine makes it a great choice to drink as an aperitif or to serve with summer salads, fish dishes, or creamy risottos.
Pietradolce Etna Bianco 2018
Pietradolce was founded in 2005 in the charming village of Solicchiata on the north-eastern slopes of Mount Etna. The winery is known for its holistic approach in their winemaking, using traditional methods as well as cutting-edge technology and know-how to express the unique qualities of Etna’s special volcanic terroir. Many of the winery’s vineyards are planted with hardy bush vines and they specialise in indigenous varieties which thrive in the tough conditions.
Their Etna Bianco is composed of 100% Carricante, a typical local variety which is known for its refreshing, light-bodied style. This ancient grape is thought to have grown on Etna’s slopes for at least a thousand years and responds very well to the mountain’s significant temperature variations with hot dry summer days and much cooler nights.
On the nose there are delicate notes of lemon zest and limes as well as subtle hints of honeysuckle and almond blossom. The first sip immediately reveals a mouthwatering freshness as well as ample white peach and citrus flavours with a clean, pure finish. Elegant and invigorating, this is a great wine for enjoying as an aperitif before a special meal or simply for sipping in the garden on a hot summer’s day.
Buscemi Etna Rosso Tartaraci 2016
Bruscemi was created by Mirella Buscemi, the wife of famed Sicilian winemaker Alberto Graci who is also Vice President of the Consorzio covering the Etna DOC region. Mirella’s wines are crafted at the Graci winery and display the same spirit of authenticity and exceptional quality as Alberto’s excellent Etna wines.
Mirella’s sole red wine is the Tartaraci which is produced in tiny quantities of just a few thousand bottles each year. Fruit is sourced from a stunning single vineyard high up on Etna’s north-eastern slopes which was once owned by the famed British admiral Lord Nelson. The plot sits at an altitude of 980 metres and is planted with 90 year old Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Grenache vines. In the winery Mirella adopts a very light touch, using only concrete vats and large botti or wooden casks to mature her wines.
The nose is a complex perfume of wild rose, pomegranate and sour cherry while the first sip showcases finesse and freshness with plenty of mouthwatering acidity backed up by intense red fruit flavours. The smooth tannins and refined structure will help this wine develop well in the cellar, but it can also be served now alongside tomato-based pasta dishes or a generous platter of Italian charcuterie.
Cos Cerasulo Di Vittoria 2015
The story of Azienda Agricola Cos began in 1980 when three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano and Giusto Occhipinti, decided to go back to their families’ roots and start to make wines once again. They named their winery after the acronym of their surnames and began to experiment and push the boundaries of winemaking to its very limits.
Today Cos practices biodynamic agriculture which they believe allows their Cerasuolo Di Vittoria and their other wines to truly express the distinctive terroir of this part of Sicily. The estate’s vines are planted on calcareous-siliceous, clay and tuffaceous soils at an altitude of roughly 250 metres which helps to maintain balance and freshness in their wines despite the hot and sunny Mediterranean climate.
The iconic wine of the Cos estate, this sublime Cerasuolo Di Vittoria is composed of 60% Nero d’Avola aged in oak barrels and 40% Frappato matured in cement tanks. The result is a graceful and balanced red which exudes aromas of dried violets, red berries and earth. On the palate there are hints of tobacco, forest fruits, and sweet spices which complement the well-rounded mouthfeel, soft tannins and refreshing acidity.