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Innovations and Interesting Tastings of Sicily at Vinitaly 2013

febbraio 13, 2012

vinitaly 2013 speciale siciliaby  Luigi Salvo                 articolo in italiano
I really enjoyed Vinitaly this year, probably because this chaotic kermesse in Verona was celebrating its 25th anniversary or maybe because I tasted wine “gems” in all the pavilions of all regions, to return then to Sicily’s hall. This year there were less Sicilian wineries comparing to the previous years but the reduction in quantity raised the quality of the wines presented.

Today it is difficult to meet debuting wineries because of the crisis which has also effected the wine  sector. Instead, a positive changement has taken place in the relations between wine producers. I’ve noticed them visiting each others stands, commenting wines together and asking my opinions and conferms about their wines and those of other wineries during our meetings . All this had never happened in previous years.

After four days of intense wine tastings here are a few new productions and those  I enjoyed most. One thing to point out above all: the triumph of the Grillo grape in purity. More and more wineries are producing this wine and some are really enjoyable.

stefano caruso corteferro  caruso & minini giornalevinocibo
    Stefano Caruso shows us the bottle which debuted at Vinitaly: Corte Ferro Zibibbo Secco

Enchanting the new Corte Ferro Zibibbo Secco ’12 produced by the Caruso & Minini Winery (Marsala-Tp), intense and recognizable on the nose, full and balanced in the mouth, as well as Perricone Sachia ’11 with its vivid fruit  and intriguing territorial connotations.

The Ascanio De Gregorio Winery in the area of Sciacca produces Inzolia Rahna ’12 fresh and drinkable with exceptional quality/price ratio. The rosè Rosa di Nero ’12 made from Nero d’Avola is among the best products in this category.

nino d'alessandro grillo alessandro di camporeale
                                                  Nino d’Alessandro with the new Grillo bottle

The Grillo Vigna di Mandranova of Alessandro di Camporeale (Camporeale-Pa) makes its debut at Vinitaly. Variegated nose of white fruits, citrus and herbal notes, the taste corresponds with its sapid finish.

There’s the magic of the sun and the sea of the SalinaIsland in Salina Bianco ’12 of Virgogna composed mainly by Malvasia with percentages of Inzolia and Catarratto. Appealing for its aroma and deep freshness and minerality.

costantino grillo giornalevinocibo
                                                                          Catarratto of Costantino

I really liked the Catarratto of Costantino (Grisì – Pa), fine and intense in the aroma, an intricate bind of fruit in the mouth, vegetal notes in drink length.

The Grillo Pinzeri ’12 of Funaro (Santa Ninfa – Tp) has a varietal nose and a cool and pleasant sip. Excellent the version of Ominis Nero d’Avola ’11 with fruit and spices, correctly dosed wood and inviting acidity. In recent years the style of Nero d’Avola has definitely improved in western Sicily.

tonino guzzo grillo Keirè tenuta gorghi tondi

Enologist Tonino Guzzo creates the Grillo Keirè

The Grillo Keirè ’12 of the Gorghi Tondi Winery (Mazara del Vallo – Tp) is an explosion of fruit and spice notes with good mouth fresh and mineral.

The Grillo ’12  of Marilena Barbera (Menfi – Ag) has its own personality obtained by long fermentation on the skins showing fruity notes, origano and spices, fresh and sapid on the palate. The Microcosmo Rosso ’10 is a 90% Perricone with 10% of Nerello Mascalese. Its captivating smell ranges from fruity, to undergrowth, to earthy notes, fresh and full tasting.

muscatedda marabino pierpaolo messina
                                                    Pierpaolo Messina with his Muscatedda

After three years of study, the Muscatedda of Marabino (Sr), from Moscato grapes native of the Val di Noto, debutes at Vinitaly. Macerated on the skins the wine has great appeal, balanced nose with light aromatic quality, palate with graceful acidity and long savory finish.

The Nero d’Avola Archimede ’10 Eloro Pachino Reserve confirms its great personality, complex varietal and good potential.

The new Grillo of Tasca d’Almerita (Pa) is at its debut, hawthorn, broom, yellow peach and citrus on the nose, fresh herbaceous in the mouth and right mineral length are its winning trump.

nero d'altura nero d'avola lombardo
                                                                 The Nero d’Altura of Lombardo

Nero d’Altura ’10 of Lombardo (Ag) is a good Nero d’Avola produced at 600 mt/a/s/l, intense and complex, with elegant fruit and spices, for easy pairing purpose.

Ten years after its first release the Grillo Parlante ’12 Fondo Antico (Tp) remains a good quality reference point for this grape vaiety, multifaceted and versatile nose, balanced and long taste. Memorie is a rosè wine of Nero d’Avola, elegant and suitble for any meal.

grillo feudo montoni fabio sireci
                                                                         Fabio Sireci and his Grillo

The Grillo ’12 of Feudo Montoni (Ag) has an elegant register, it is a mix of fruit, vegetal and mineral on the nose and in the mouth. Chapeau for the Cru of Nero d’Avola ’10 Vrucara, “good blood doesn’t lie”.

Fresh and pleasant to drink, rich flower bouquet and white fruit the Grillo Costadune of Mandarossa (Menfi – Ag), fresh and precise mouth inviting to the next sip.

The Cerasuolo ’11 Gulfi has typical aroma of cherry, aromatic herbs and spicy notes, fresh drink and rightly tannic.

la luci cristo di campobello carmelo bonetta
                                                                  Carmelo Bonetta with La Luci

La Luci ’12 of Cristo di Campobello is a Grillo wine, intense nose and mouth, sweet citrus and sea-like freshness dominate the palate length.

I have already spoken about the Grillo Sur Sur of Donnafugata. The Milleunanotte ’10 of Nero d’Avola in particularly elegant and expressive, fine blend of fruit and complex notes, very easy to drink although full-bodied and vigorous.

intorcia marsala 1980 e caponata
                               Marsala Superiore Riserva 1980 Intorcia with aubergine “caponata”

Since I will write of the most interesting volcano wines in the next article regarding the Contrade dell’Etna 2013 event, I will close mentioning two “gems”. The first is Marsala Superiore Riserva 1980 Semisecco of Intorcia (Tp) that the AIS Sommelier in charge of the Michele Miceli stand, proposed to me pairing it to the  “caponata di melenzane”, a great delicacie that demonstrates how this historic Sicilian wine could and should be appraised.

creato murana passito di pantelleria
                                       The precious bottle of Creato 1976 by Salvatore Murana

And finally pure emotion. Salvatore Murana historic winemaker in Pantelleria (Tp), after letting me taste the latest vintages of his Passito wines Kamma and Martingana that have made the history of this typology, pulls out a sublime bottle. It’s the Creato, his first Passito dated 1976. Hyperbolic and stratospheric mix of olfactorial and tasting sensations, unique.

Power of the man, the sun and the land of Sicily.

Translation by Maria Lina Bommarito

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