Sicilian Red Wines

Posted by Keith Wallace

Last October, we ran a wine tasting class focused on Sicily. The gist of which is that the island at the crossroads of the Mediterranean is undergoing an exciting transformation in its wine production. International favorites are joining indigenous varietals to create wines that reflect traditional styles and the “new” Sicily. Here are profiles of a few of the wines featured.

Valle dell’Acate “Il Morro” IGT…Dark, just ripening cherries predominate. Juicy “red” acidity, smooth texture. As it opens reveals fruit concentration—sour cherry with some “amaro” on end.

Firriato “Chiaramonte” IGT…Full aromas of dark fruit with dried herbs and chalk. Intense, warm flavors of berries, dark plums, raisins. Tannins have some grip but are offset by the bright acidity—depth without being overly complex.

Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG…Adds the required 40% of Frappato to produce a nose of sweet fruits and medicinally astringent cherries. Soft and herbaceous with mildly tart strawberry flavors. Smooth and light, subtle Nero earthiness, cherry presence is persistent.

Palari “Rosso del Soprano” IGT is a Truly Sicilian blend of Nerello Mascalese, Cappuccio, and Nocera gives off the perfumed aroma of jammy berries. It starts dry with spicy red-black fruits supported by youthful tannins; acidity opens up raspberry, dried olives, and foresty flavors—musky and earthy finish.

Principe di Butera Syrah…Big dark plum and blackberry nose with wild forest fruits and tangy black olives. A full, dense, firm mouthfeel of jammy texture. Hints of Sicilian “macchia” and exotic spices. Ripe and fresh with barely noticeable tannins..varietal game and earth are on hold.

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