Friday Sips

Sicilian Shakedown featuring Planeta
Special Guest - 'Don' Pancetta
Today Sept. 21 from 1:30 - 6:30
Sicliy is very exciting right now and Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers. Drop by today to taste four wines utilizing native Sicilian grapes being poured by our friend Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon.

Don’t be oobatz and miss this one, otherwise we’re getting the cement shoes. Todd will arrive at 3:30 (I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early).

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$26.99 BTL./$161.94 - SIX PACK

Planeta is one of the most important and influential estates in Sicily. Initially gaining notoriety using French varietals, this estate literally was the one that woke up the island into making top-notch wines as others followed suit. Alas, along the way, their ideals of uber modern and utilizing grapes like Chardonnay and Syrah became out of fashion as a movement towards native varietals took hold. Therefore, what does Planeta do, they turn around and utilize Sicily’s indigenous grapes while continuing to do what made them so prominent.

Located in northeastern corner of Sicily, just outside the city of Messina, the Mamertino DOC is steeped in history yet has only been decreed since 2004. In this area, it is mandatory that the wines be made with a minimum of 60% Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s spiritual grape and blended with at least 10% of Nocera or other aromatic varietal. For Planeta’s version, the 2015 is 60% Nero D’Avola and 10% Nocera and aged 12 months in 3500-liter barrels. Polish and energy abound with strawberry/balsamic aspects, licorice, sage and underlying floral characteristics with smoothness and sensuality in the mouth. Layers of fruit, mineral, hints of allspice dominate the streamlined and structured palate. Dark tones arrive on the racy finish, which are what the Nocera grape brings to the party. Long and very packed with impressive character and potential; drink this underrated Sicilian red through – 2024.

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$17.99 BTL./$107.94 - SIX PACK

If you were ever in the mob and ratted on your friends, you might find yourself in the Witness Protection program working as a carnie operating a tilt-a-whirl. Not all is lost, though. Since your pasta dish would essentially be egg noodles and ketchup you're gonna have to make an upgrade on the red wine. Drinking Planeta's Cerasuolo di Vittoria would make you reminisce about loan-sharking or whacking someone.

Made with 60% Nero D'Avola and 40% Frappato, this hearty red is gorgeously fragrant. If roses are spicy, then this is it! Alluring tones of potpourri, roasted earth, tangy Italian spices and smoky mineral. In the mouth, it is lavish, smooth and very savory with plenty of depth and personality. Deceptive spine and backbone are present which will allow it to age, however once you taste it is pretty tough to keep your hands off it. Loaded with vibrant fruit and persistence on the firecracker of a finish. Perfect for drinking over the next two or three years with fish and tomato dishes.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

As mentioned earlier, in the last two decades, Planeta has embraced Sicily’s local varietals and this includes white varietals. Over the last several years, they have purchased vineyards in some of the best areas including Mt. Etna and these selections are absolutely smoking!

100% Carricante and what I love about this wine is that they haven’t mucked around with it and had it suffer in a bunch of new barrels, only a small percentage (10%) is fermented in wood and none is new, the remainder is done in stainless steel tanks which preserves the freshness and character of the Carricante grape. Instant white peach aromas leap from the glass along with underlying scents of quince, anise, subtle spice and mineral. Overflowing zesty aspects shine on the palate, which penetrates quite deeply and possesses ample expansion as well as a lingering, vibrant finish. An excellent choice with many seafood dishes, it has weight and depth to go with salmon but enough vibrancy that will allow it to pair well with sashimi or prawns.

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$31.99 BTL./$191.94 - SIX PACK

There is common perception that Sicily's climate is akin to a blast furnace. This could not be further from the truth; this island is filled with diversity when it comes to soils, elevations, climate and grape varietals. Wines from Mt. Etna are some of the trendiest and exciting to come from Italy these days and there are so many excellent choices done in small quantities from this area. Having recently tasted this wine, it really bowled us over with its regal and excellent characteristics.

Eruzione 1614 takes its name from one of the many eruptions that have occurred on the volcano and this particular one lasted over 10 years. 100% Nerello Mascalese and coming from three renowned sites on the mountain, this wine exudes class from the get go. The olfactory notes of this red wine change like an obstacle course as it sits in the glass. Transparent and very focused with prominent red fruits, savory herbs like rosemary, laurel and anise. Some underlying balsamic and turned earth aspects arrive as it unfolds in the glass. Expansive and ethereal on in the mouth, plenty of depth from these ancient vines comes through immediately. Lots of palate coverage and almost velour-like qualities, especially on the very refined finish that shows rocky energy along with intermittent kisses of vanilla. Very wonderful to drink now and over the next decade. Pair this with mushroom dishes, game or little birds.


Join us next Friday September 28 from 3:30 – 6:30 as the matriarch of Petroio will be on hand to pour and discuss the estate's love Chianti wines. This is always a party so if you love Chiante, do yourself a solid and be here.


2014 Petroio Chianti Classico
2015 Petroio Chianti Classico
2013 Petroio Chianti Classico Riserva
2015 Petroio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
2017 Petroio Toscan Rose