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Sicily tasting notes

text and photographs © 2014 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Sicily and its wines.

RAGUSA

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white wines

Valle dell'Acate, Bidis Chardonnay 2012, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Ragusa. Nutty, fine, lightly oxidised style, a little ozoney, salty suggestion. Fresh, but arguably just lacks a little punch and zest, the finish is flavoursome and has some acidity, but maybe just lacks a touch of energy and decisiveness. 87/100.

Valle dell'Acate, Tenuta Ibidini Insolia 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Ragusa. A slightly medicinal note to this, herbal and nutty, with a really nice palate that has all the dry, nutty, apple and melon fruit along with a nice bit of grip - like melon skins and tangy citrus rind - and a balanced finish. 89/100.

COS, Rami 2012, Italy
IGT Terre Siciliane, from Ragusa, and a blend of Insolia and Grecanico. Deep yellow wine, earthy, wild aromas, very bready and irony, with obvious point of difference. The palate is bone dry, that clear, natural wine line of acidity and tight flavour profile, not obvious fruit, but a nuttiness and that mineral, tight and precise core. Intellectual, and very good of its uncompromising style. 92/100.

Arianna Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2013, Italy
IGT Terre Siciliane, from Ragusa. Made from Zibibbo (Moscato d'Alessandria) and Albanello. Intriguing nose, all sorts of medicinal, clove and then wildly floral notes, the geranium leaf and almost band-aid, wheat beer yeast character is striking. Bone dry palate, with so much acidity, the uncompromising dry finish just revealing glimpses of fruit, citrus and blossom. Unusual but really successful natural style. 91-92/100.

red wines

Valle dell'Acate, Il Frappato 2013, Italy
DOC Vittoria, from Ragusa. Very bold, youthful and bright crimson. An orthodox, vinous nose, not so much of Frappato's wild and herbal/floral character, but more of the sweet and focused cherry and briar, and a touch of bright red plum. Dry and vinous. 88/100.

Feudo di Santa Tresa, Frappato 2013, Italy
IGP Terre Siciliane, from Ragusa. A much more floral, light, soaring scent here, more what I expected from Frappato, with elegant herb and cherry aromatics and plenty of bright, spicy focus. The palate has a dry, inky red and black fruit dryness and mineral character. No real tannin structure, but elegant with the fruit and acidity in balance. Lovely drinking. 88-89/100.

Planeta, Frappato 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Ragusa. Relatively pale on the rim, a slightly lighter style. Very elegant and floral, the soaring kirsch and elegant leafiness is lovely, with plenty of briar and herbal character. Expressive and delicious. 89/100.

Arianna Occhipinti, Il Frappato 2012, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Ragusa. Back on the lighter, fragrant, flower and herb-touched side of Frappato, with so much elegance and freshness. The palate has a stripe of juicy red liquorice and cherry, and a little black fruit depth too - more cassis and blueberry - but the dry acid and the savoury finish is excellent, and very moreish with its lip-smacking tang. 90/100.

Arianna Occhipinti, SP68 Rosso 2013, Italy
IGT Terre Siciliane, from Ragusa again, and a blend of Frappato and Nero d'Avola, The Nero d'Avola perhaps just taming the exuberance here a little, but it is still a nose with loads of character and freshness, with cherry and briar and that little floral, violet quality. The palate is really dry - inky - but abundantly fresh, with a big, youthful stripe of tannin and acidity into a long, super-tight finish. Needs some time. 90-91/100.

COS, Nero Di Lupo 2012, Italy
IGT Terre Siciliane, from Ragusa. Nero d'Avola, medium colour with a really zingy crimson brightness. Vinous, natural and unforced on the palate, this has little oak influence, allowing the lipsticky, cherry brightness of the fruit to speak out. Dry and savoury on the palate, the lack of oak is so refreshing, the buoyant juicy quality of fruit is lovely, as this finishes with a cherry, rhubarb and fruity freshness, balanced by a grip of rustic tannin and good acidity. 91/100.

Feudo di Santa Tresa, Classico 2012, Italy
DOCG Cerasuolo Di Vittoria from Ragusa. A blend of Nero d'Avola and Frappato. Lovely elegant colour with some brightness and light on the rim. The floral lift of the Frappato is gorgeous, with really good acidity and coffee-touched depth on the palate immediately giving light and shade. The sweet solidity of the black fruit comes through. The juiciness of the palate is lovely, with lots of cherry flesh and energy. What a lovely wine, delicious balance and dry in the finish. 90/100.

Planeta, Dorilli 2012, Italy
DOCG Cerasuolo Di Vittoria, from Ragusa. Nero d'Avola and Frappato. Aromatic, floral edged stuff, with herbs and a sense of juiciness. This has just delightful fruit - so light and fresh, the herbs and the sense of garrigue are lovely against plenty of crunch and crispness into the finish. Lovely quality here. Delicious stuff with loads of character. 90/100.

Feudi del Pisciotto, Gianbattista Valli 2011, Italy
DOCG Cerasuolo di Vittoria, from Ragusa. 60% Nero d'Avola with Frappato. Lightness, the Frappato in the ascendency aromaticlly, with a field full of flowers and elegant herb touched spicy black fruit. The palate has lovely weight, the juice and tension of this is delicious, a really steely core of acidity and tight tannin structure too. Taut and fresh, this is another dense and serious wine with a gentler edge. 90/100.

Valle dell'Acate, Classico 2011, Italy
DOCG Cerasuolo di Vittoria, from Ragusa. 60% Nero d'Avola with Frappato. Lovely lightness of touch aromatically, with leafiness and a little lift and scented exuberance, hiding slightly under a solid black cherry fruit. The palate has lovely sweetness. There is a smooth, easy-going freshness to this, the sweet fruit melding with a little milk chocolate, and then the tannins add lots of subtle bite. The suppleness and pliable softness of this is lovely, the dry tannins just eased by the juiciness of the fruit. 89-90/100.

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