Friday, March 16, 2012

Wines of the week - March 15th

This week I'm highlighting three wines from a Sicilian wine dinner on Monday. See here for the full write-up at the DeadReds website. The wine industry in Sicily has recently been going through some major upheavals, with plummeting grape prices and huge vine pulls, but increasing quality will hopefully help mitigate reduced quantity. Obviously there will be some winners and losers as things shake out.

Gulfi Nerobaronj 2005

Ragusa-based Gulfi bottle a series of individual cru Nero d’Avolas, each showcasing their own terroir. The Nerobaronj is where the winery believes the “lively tartness of Nero d’Avola is its clearest”, and thus is a good match for food with a bit of fat content. At the dinner it was successfully paired with seared tuna. There was plenty of intense fruit underpinning some earthy complexity which came together well in an enjoyably rustic kind of way.

Palari Faro 2006

This elegant wine is from the tiny Faro DOC in Messina, and is a habitual Tre Biccheri achiever in Gambero Rosso’s Italian wine guide. It is a blend of the idigenous grapes Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera and Acitana. Extremely well made, it encompasses berry and black fruit with licorice and dried herbs, before a long, smooth finish. Well worth seeking out, but not cheap.

De Bartoli Superiore Oro ‘Vigna La Miccia’ 

The last glass of the night was the unfashionable - but surely due for a turn in the spotlight - Sicilian drink, Marsala. This was serious sipping stuff, in the form of a De Bartoli Superiore Oro ‘Vigna La Miccia’. Interesting and enjoyable, quite dry and with oxidised characters, it’s closer to Sherry than my revered sweeter Australian stickies, but I could have easily been persuaded to have a second with another Cannolo. It wasn't to be that night, but it won't be long.

Previous week.

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