First off, thanks to Ronald and Katia of Love Sicily for hosting this months WBW. This is my second in participation and I hope it wont be my last!
With the perfect timing of VinItaly in Verona, and the perfect timing of WBW, I decided to put the two together and report on a special few wines from the Sicily section of the show.
A warning: We arrived at VinItaly at noon and left at 17.30 - in five and a half hours we might have visited fifteen booths. This show is immense, not nearly comparable to the Vinexpo in NYC.
It was a lot of fun!
The white wine I tasted from Sicily this time around was the Jale, a Chardonnay from Cusumano.
This wine was very nice - refreshing with well balanced tannins and a great, powerful nose with hints of vanilla and some buttery tropical fruitiness. This wine would be great in my opinion with grilled shrimp fresh from the bbq on a hot day by the pool! I can't wait for summer time! Some techi notes: This wine is fermented in 225 liter oak barrels and left in oak for six months before being bottled. The vines used for Jale are at least six years old and the area where the grapes come from is Monreale with an altitude of 200 meters.
The next wine tasted was big...huge actually. We made our way to Planeta and tasted the Burdese.
Burdese is a a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. The grapes are grown in two different areas at an elevation of 150 meters. The wine is aged in Allier new oak barrels for one year, MF in the barrels and then bottle aged for another year before being released. This is an IGT Sicilia wine. As for taste, this wine was very very rich. The tannins were a bit young but even in a few years this will be a great bottle. Personally, I love pure Cab. Franc wines. This wine has the leather and tobacco notes but also some berry and cacao as well. Some mention salt water - but that is a tough one for me!
The next wine up was also big. This wine, the Benuara from Cusumano was a tease!
This wine - a blend of Nero d'Avola and Syrah (roughly 70/30) makes this wine interesting and very tasty. This wine does not see much oak and is made more in stainless steel than in oak - from what I understood from the wine reps, the Nero vines were around 12 years old, and the Syrah around 7 years old. In 15 years it will be interesting to see what kind of wines these vines will be pumping out.
Other tastes included Feudo Principi di Butera - the Nero d'Avola Deliella from the Gianni Zonin Vineyards, but my notes by this point in the day were not readable, even by me.
This VinItaly thing is tough...I barely remember how I got home, but that was also after some great California wines we tasted at the LA County Fair booth, and the taste of '98 Sassicaia and '97 Gaja (both cost cash as neither were at the show, or at least for sure not Gaja).