The Good Wines October 2017. Drink as your wine guy does. At least until I get to know your palate. Then the 3 bottles per month are tailored to your palate.
Showing the lovely Prosecco characters of lemon sherbet, grapes, stone fruits and white flowers. The palate is fruity and on the fuller side with a dry finish. This will satisfy a wide range of palates because it is just so easy to drink. Serve with mild cheese, grapes or nothing at all.
The Furlan family winery was established in the early 1930s. They are on the hills of Conegliano the heart of quality Prosecco. Not surprisingly they make some outstanding Prosecci but also whites and reds from the local regions of Veneto.
Is the name of the region and grape variety used to make it in Italy. By using the cheaper Charmat method to make the wines and in recent times pushing up the quality, the Italians have cornered the ‘poor person’s Champagne’ market. Look out of the variety to change name to Glera in the next few years.
Villa Solais Vermentino di Sardegna is matured in stainless steel with short lees contact to give the palate more body and flavour. It has the typical apricot kernel, floral and briny characters. Drink over the next three years and match it with fresh white-fleshed fish.
Santadi’s vineyards are in prime, gently rolling land reaching out to sea in the south-western coastal area known as Sulcis. It is unique in that the sandy soil allows pre-phylloxera vines to survive and thrive, a key factor in the supreme quality of the estate’s wines.
An impressive white grape suited to warm coastal regions from Liguria down to Bolgheri and Sardinia. Rich aromatics and great texture.
Not a region that has much room to move in terms of increasing volume. But they have been striving to increase quality. A strong bent to white wines is evident and Vermentino is clearly the strongest performer here.
Special Occasion Wine
A glass of wine that warms to you as you warm to it. 100% N.Mascalese it is very reminiscent of Champagne base wine. Delicate, subtle, layered. I tried this wine over three nights and it was better on the second and better still on the third. Fresh roses, ripe strawberry, doughy and quite mineral at its core. The palate weight and integration are fantastic, all elements of fruit, savoury, acid and texture meld together. It’s easy to miss this wine but it is very satisfying to drink to be sure. Don’t age it, drink it and enjoy it. Graci will make any food match look better. To let the wine shine either serve with something ultra-simple like grilled prawns or sashimi tuna.
Graci is 25 hectare of native Sicilian vines planted on the slopes of Mt Etna. The vines are tended organically by Alberto Graci, who was an investment banker in Milan until he inherited his grandfather’s Sicilian estate. Drawn to the active volcano he sold this estate to fund the purchase of his two current plots on Mt Etna. These wines are low intervention but still finely crafted. They are outstanding quality.
In a constant tussle with Puglia to win the title of largest volume produced each year, the wines of Sicily are as varied as its history. Delicate whites, full-bodied reds and of course Marsala show the variation in climate and abilities of the various regions within the Island.
Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio
The two grapes of Etna Rosso DOC. Mascalese has to be at least 80% of the blend with Cappuccio making up the balance. To my palate, Mascalese is the Pinot Noir like elegance and perfume of the blend while Cappuccio is the Merlot richness and roundness. Together they form a mighty combination.
Etna Rosato DOC
Must be at least 80% N.Mascalese up to 100%. The balance has to be N.Cappuccio or non-aromatic white grapes. Etna is an active volcano and therefore the soils are the most mineral laden of any wine growing area. The altitude and higher than average precipitation (compared to the rest of Sicily) mean these are wines of texture, ripeness and power, but also structure and subtlety. The rosatos offer charming delicate and subtle characters.