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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.

TRAPANI

white wines

Fazio Casa Vinicola, Calebianche Catarratto 2013, Italy
DOC Erice, from Trapani, this is 100% Catarratto. Delightful exotic note of lychee and guava at first, very juicy, peachy and tropical. The extra ripeness and sweet exoticism is lovely on the palate, giving this real personality. That peach or nectarine flesh and juice carries on to the mouth, but with the natural acidity of the fruits too. Clean, flowing and delightful, with even a hint of mineral saltiness in the finish. 90/100.

Musita, Regieterre Catarratto 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Trapani. A touch of cream or custard, a little herbal influence too, with dry apple fruit. The palate has good sweet fruit on the mid palate, with a firm core of acidity, a chalky sense to this, and it has a little more austerity and seriousness than some. Dry in the finish. 87-88/100.

Rallo Azienda Agricola, Beleda Catarratto 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Trapani. Ozoney character to this, breezy and fresh, and then some almost passionfruit character comes through. The palate has texture and bursts with fruit, lots of exuberance and full flavour, a big tropical fruit sweetness before good acidity. A Sauvignon-lover's Catarratto, but very nicely balanced and finishes crisply. 88/100.

Fondo Antico, Chardonnay 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Trapani. Crisp and light/fresh, if there is oak it is deftly handled, just a little smoke and spice to the white fruits. The palate has lots of juicy fruit: lots of sweet, mint-touched lemon and apple, and a lovely fresh elegance to the long finish. 89/100.

Caruso & Minini, Timpune Grillo 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia from Trapani. Fresh, appetising orchard fruits, with that lovely hint of something honeyed, and very ripe, even a little estery hint of really ripe banana. The palate is full and luscious, with such a nice palate, nuttiness and cream - like creamed almonds - and still the core of punchy orange fruit, ripe apple and very good acidity. Long and deliciously moreish. 90/100.

Donnafugata, Sur Sur Grillo 2013, Italy
DOC Sicilia from Trapani. This has an appetising herby and fruity nose, with a touch of roundness and fat, the fruit quite full and lush, very sweet and crowd-pleasing through the mid-palate, but arguably just lacking a little tension. A lovely commercial wine, and very delicious, but a touch more acid definition would be welcome. 87/100.

Fazio Casa Vinicola, Aegades Grillo 2013, Italy
DOC Erice from Trapani. Tight, fine and mineral-touched, with lovely floral nuances and lots of bright character. Orange and bright citrus on the palate, very fresh, touches of gooseberry and exotic fruit, but lovely freshness and length. 89/100.

Fazio Casa Vinicola, Levantio Insolia 2013, Italy
DOC Erice, from Trapani. Celebrating the floral side of Insolia, with a juiciness of stone fruits and a tiny hint of biscuit or butter. The palate has delicious fruit. Good juiciness and flavour on the palate, with a certain pithy quality to the acid, even a touch of something clove-like and yeasty, and a nicely punchy finish. 87/100.

Rallo Azienda Agricola, Al Qasar 2013, Italy
IGP Terre Siciliane, from Trapani, Zibibbo, Floral explosion on the nose, with so much rose and spring flower brightness and vivaciousness. There's a touch of something herbal too, and onto the palate the combination of zesty, juicy lemon and that dry apple juice and sour pithy lemon acidity gives this savoury but sippable appeal. 87

Rallo Azienda Agricola, Passito di Pantelleria 2010, Italy
DOC Passito di Pantelleria from Trapani and made from Zibibbo. Lovely glowing amber colour, loaded with honey and burnished toast and sultana. The palate has glycerine and honey to spare, but a nice bite of raisined fruit flavour and acidity, a twist of bitter orange too, in a lovely wine. 90-91/100.

rosé wines

Fondo Antico, Memorie 2007, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Trapani and made from Nero d'Avola. Deep but not dark colour, the orange and tawny notes just visible in a salmon pink depth. Quite meaty and serious on the nose, with briar and earthiness, even a hint of ozone saltiness, before a palate that also has great depth and savoury character. So dense and powerful, a rosé with real heft and savoury confidence, finishing with coffee and a little earth and briar. Serious, deep stuff for food, and a lovely vinous pink wine. 89/100.

red wines

Caruso & Minini, Terre di Giumara Frappato Nerello Mascalese 2013, Italy
IGP Terre Siciliane, from Trapani, and a 50/50 blend of Frappato and Nerello Mascalese. Wow - soaring perfume, but quite a bit of it seems to be charry oak, melding with the exoticism of the Frappato, but perhaps just a touch resinous and dominated by the oak. Sumptuous and rich stuff, so much coffee and substance here, the ripeness and sweetness is undeniably lovely, but is the character of the grape just being a little subsumed by that seductive oak? So sweet and juicy, this is undeniably impressive. 89/100.

Fazio Casa Vinicola, Pietra Sacra Rosso Riserva 2008, Italy
DOC Erice, from Trapani. Nero d'Avola. Nicely open ad meaty, lots of earthiness and mushroom and truffle quality, a really appealing character, with a great feeling of meaty authenticity. The palate has lovely fruit, it is so rich and sweet, but although it has a lot of oak, it has the fruit spice and sweetness to balance. Another huge wine, but has a warming, enveloping character that you could close your eyes and sink in to. 90/100.

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