Let`s talk Grillo!

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by bob parsons, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Seeing a fair selection in town of late..and you know me and my passion for white wines [​IMG] . I have tasted a couple that were blended with chardonnay but now have 2x100% Grillo on standby.
    Imagine oaked versions are cellar worthy but what about the non-oaked styles ....do they age?
    Which wines have you come across of late, guess mostly from Sicily?
  2. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    I've seen a fair bit of Fiano and Falanghina from Australia, Chile and other places, but don't think I've ever seen Grillo from anywhere other than Sicily - maybe a bit in Campania/Puglia? I think most authorities regard it as the superior white grape of Sicily compared to Catarratto, but there's much more Catarratto about. I don't know of it having any reputation as being particularly age-worthy, and most examples that I've come across are definitely in the unoaked, fruity and fresh style.
  3. I love Grillo but drink very little of it.

    I'm not such a fan of the more modern interpretations of the grape (the fruity and fresh style) but love the broader, more saline examples, e.g. de Bartoli, Galfano etc. Is there anything else available in the UK along these lines?

    (D'Agata says there is some Grillo in Puglia and a tiny amount in Australia, including a Riverina example by By Jingo!, which doesn't show up on their website.)
  4. The most interesting white wine from Sicily for me is the Carricanti from Etna.

  5. I second that. However, other native varieties like Grillo itself and Insolia do produce much fresher, more tense and mineral wines in the Sicilian climate than do international varieties. Southern Italy and Sicily seem to have had a genius for developing the use grapes suitable to their climate. I'm also thinking of Greco, Fiano and Falanghina in Campania.

    I guess that suitable climates and soils can be found where these varieties would do well in the New World. That is if they don't have local varieties which do the job as well or better;).
  6. The only 100% Grillo I consciously remember having was Fondo Antico's "Grillo Parlante", which I recall as being of the fresher persuasion (i.e. made for immediate drinking).

    I would certainly be interested to try other examples of the grape though - especially any that are made with longer ageing in mind. Apart from oaked examples, I see reports that it can make wines that develop interesting grapefruit-skin type aromas. I would be interested to try that.
  7. I've only tried one, but would like to try more, especially given the comments on minerality.

    The one I had was a Grillo Timpune 2009 made by Caruso & Minini. Hated it! all tropically fruited; like liquefied spangles.
  8. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    A few I've tried:

    Cusumano, Shamaris Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    88. IGP Terre Siciliane, from Palermo. A touch of smokiness here, a touch of nuttiness, but much more fruit comes through. Very nice palate, perhaps not quite the sheer decadence of the Caruso & Minini, but has lovely elegant balance, the fruit ripe and flooding the mid palate, and the finish dry and quite rich.

    Principi di Spadafora, Grillo, 2012
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    90. IGP Terre Siciliane, from Palermo. Elegant and extremely well balanced, this has lovely juicy fruit on the palate, preceded by a beautifully tempered nose, touched by honey and custard, but with such lovely fresh and pure orchard fruit. The finish has a fine, biting dry acidity that really pushes through into a long, tapering finish.

    Feudo Maccari, Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    84. IGT Sicilia, from Siracusa. A stony, lightly smoky and mineral aromatic, but not over overtly fruity in the aromatics. The palate has nice fruit, but it lacks a little spark, a little vitality.

    Feudo Principi di Butera, Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    87. DOC Sicilia, from Caltanissetta. Elegant and light stuff, quite discreet aromatically and in flavour. It's dry, quite serious, with good balance. Not a hugely aromatic or vibrant style, but quite classy.

    Masseria del Feudo, Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    88. DOC Sicilia, from Caltanissetta. Nice sense of herbal elegance and coolness, a touch of yeasty character and seems very natural. Very juicy, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a richer texture than some, and a nice creamy aspect to both mouthfeel and flavour. Quite long, well balanced.

    CVA Canicatta, Fileno Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    87. DOC Sicilia, from Agrigento. This has a lively, slightly elderflower note, with a touch of smokiness and a touch of pear (and youthful ferment character). The palate too has that Sauvignon-like punch, flirting with elderflower and nectarine juiciness, and quite luscious and ripely creamy into the finish. Tangy, perhaps lacking an ounce of acidity.

    Caruso & Minini, Timpune Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    90. 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.

    Donnafugata, Sur Sur Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    87. 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.

    Fazio Casa Vinicola, Aegades Grillo, 2013
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    89. 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.

    Tenuta Gatti, Catalina, 2012
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    88. DOC Mamertino, from Messina. A blend of Insolia and Grillo, which is pleasing, fruity, with tiny floral and exotic peach down notes to apple fruit and citrus. The palate has open, lightly tropical fruit with nectarine and peach skins giving just a little grip, and lovely freshness. It blooms with a sweet mid-palate, very crowd pleasing and fruit forward, but the tight grip of the cool acidity in the finish is excellent.

    Tria, Grillo, 2002
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    85. Grillo is the grape in this racy yet soft, sweet vanilla-edged peachy wine with plenty of citrussy verve. Abundant sweet orchard fruit on the palate, witth lemon acidity but some more complex notes of herbs and cream adding background weight and colour.

    Lamura, Grillo, 2001
    Sicily, Italy, Dry White
    86. Lemony and zesty, with a touch of honeyed, almost humbuggy sweetness. Very crisp palate with plenty of weight and a waxy, lemon-zest quality. Stylish.
    Mark Collings likes this.
  9. Some very nice notes there Mr C..great to see all this interest in my post and I have learnt a lot!
  10. Agree with Martin. Galfano and De Bartoli the most interesting I've tried. Though I'm always up for a Grillo, on the very few occasions a good one is available. Suffers from the same issue as Montepulciano, I think, in that no one over here seems to think anyone will pay over 7 or 8 quid for one, ergo we never see anything good.
  11. I'm quite sure that the Barraco version will be interesting too, but I'm guilty of being reluctant to pay what's asked for it here...
  12. We were in South Australia during January and early February this year, and the growing interest in Mediterranean grapes is quite noticeable. The work with some of them is still pretty experimental, so you have to bear in mind that styles can still vary wildly and some just are not successful. But others are, and we'll probably be seeing them over the longer term. Some of course have been produced for years.

    We didn't come across any Grillo, but it has apparently been in Australia since 1969, though in the hands of various research institutions. I could only find two growers who offer it - the By Jingo! wine as Martin mentions, which is made in the Adelaide Hills from Riverina fruit, and another winery called Parish Hills Wine in the Adelaide Hills, but about which I know nothing. But it is out there.

    If you have half an hour to spare, there's an interesting report on the grapes of S. Italy/Sicily for consideration in respect of future wines from Australia. It includes an extended report on visits to some S. Italian growers who will be well-known to Wine Pages regulars as well as some very interesting insight into current thinking that touches on the future direction of the Australian Wine Industry. Grillo is identified as being of much future interest.

    Report is here:- http://www.issinstitute.org.au/wp-content/media/2014/04/CHALMERS-Report-Final-LowRes.pdf
  13. That research trip sounded fun!

    Thanks for the link.
  14. Just re-read Toms notes as i await the finish of the Iditarod. My 100% Grillo did not have a lot of style, no white tropical fruit of note. Dull gold in color (it`s a 2013 from Ceuso Scurati) but fair acidity. I do like my dry whites but this could have come from anywhere if tasted blind.
  15. Iditarod? Is this a medical condition?
  16. An update on Australian Grillo.
    Firstly, thank you to those who took the time to look up By Jingo!, I would like to introduce myself, my partner John Gilbert and I, Annick Bahen are owners/operators of By Jingo!. And yes we do have Grillo growing in Australia, but this has not been without confusion.

    John imported a DNA tested clone of the variety directly from Sicily when he was working there in 2001. He arrived in Australia with his cuttings to discover it had already been growing in Australia since 1969. Or so he thought! After working with both varieties, he quickly realised the Australian Grillo was not Grillo at all. Some nurseries had sold it as Grillo. Eventually we were able to convince the nurseries to DNA test the Grillo that had been planted in 1969, a variety the nursery had not purchased from Sicily but rather the United States. Only late last year was it confirmed as a Yugoslavian varietal known as Slankamenka.

    We are now grafting our Grillo clone in various regions across South Australia, but could not do so until the 'other Grillo' was established and confirmed as not being Grillo.

    We will release our first Grillo in 2017. If you are ever visiting South Australia please look us up.
    Ian Black and Andrew Stevenson like this.
  17. Had this the other day. Extraordinary wine. Suspect quite expensive, though!
    More about it here Egesta

    Attached Files:

  18. I'm no expert, drinking little Sicilian wine and not much white, but whenever I've had Grillo it seems very acidic and a bit bland.
    My last try at The Sun, Dedham tasting a month ago was 2014 Grillo, Il bianco, Catine Rallo, I only managed a note "acidic". Other wines Graci's Etna 2013 and Gulfi's Carjcanti 2013, were much more interesting. Ultimately, the red's were the stars for me. Gulfi's nero d'avola, Cos and Caciorgna.

    Wasn't grillo the grape used for Marsala?
  19. Russ, spot on, It was a big grape for Marsala. That's one reason De Bartoli makes it in Sicily, and naturally I agree with Mark that it is the best one I have tried. I've had more Carricante of high quality, and a lot of Grillo is quite cheap (not all nasty - I had a lovely cheap one with a bit of CO2 from Majestic several years ago). But De Bartoli's is very good.

    Talking of Italian white grapes in Australia, I'm really looking forward to a taste of Larry Cherubino's Fiano tomorrow.
  20. It seems I've only had one single variety grillo:

    2005 La Mura Grillo, Sicily, 13%
    The grillo grape is traditionally a major component of the blend used for Marsala, and it was interesting to taste it vinified separately and as a dry white. The most immediately noticeable thing is its very green colour. The nose is crisp with some nice pear, citrus and gooseberry fruit. This is nice and attractive in the mouth, with nice fresh flavours. A lovely, clean drink. Impressive. Very Good Indeed. 90/100
  21. Hi Annick, and welcome to the forum here! I'll certainly try and look you up next time we pass, though it may be a year or so hence. The saga with the mis-identified Grillo sounds horribly familiar. Though I suspect there's some way to go before anyone reaches the dizzy heights of Chilean "merlot" turning out to be carmenère (a better grape IMHO though some will not agree.) But I'll adjust my expectations accordingly.

    I had some of Fondo Filara's Grillo at the weekend. I have to say it had absolutely no nose at all. But on the palate it was a well-balanced wine with a pleasing long aftertaste. Maybe a vigorous aeration a couple of hours before serving might have helped, but we were in a restaurant and it would not have been feasible.
  22. Great work everyone!
    David Crossley likes this.
  23. Ooh, they're doing an Aldo Viola tasting at Passione Vino next week (1st June). If you want to try a remarkable natural Grillo, you should get there. £30/ticket. Not sure if this includes food, but I would hope so...
  24. It does Alex (big platters of olives, cheese and cured meats, bread as well as a glass of prosecco). Went to the Paride Chiovini tasting a few weeks back which was very good. Might see you at the Viola event then?

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