2/14/20 A Love Note from Sicily

A Love Note from Sicily
Today Feb. 14 from 1:30 - 6:30
Although part of Italy, Sicily is an island all its own. Whether it is food, culture, football or wine, the culture of Sicily is quite different from what is seen on the peninsula.

One of the very influential producers, Tasca D’Almerita is eighth generation and possesses five estates. Owner Alberto Tasca and winemaker Laura Orsi put forth excellent wines that are proudly Sicilian. Today we are focusing on indigenous grape varietals from their Tenuta Regaleali site with what promises to be an educational and informative Friday Sips Tasting with high quality wines (2 red & 2 white) for under 20-bucks.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

A historical Sicilian grape, Grillo, meaning cricket, gained initial notoriety from being the grape of Marsala. Tasca has been making dry wines from Grillo at Tenuta Regaleali for many years and this version is one of the gateway white wines into the world of Sicilian white wines. Even though the area is warm, this grape can withstand high temperatures and combined with the vines located at just under 2000 feet, vibrancy follows very intently.

Lightning in a bottle, sultry aromas grow and build as the wine sits in the glass. A presence of white flowers, lemongrass, peach and peat aromas with a gentle hint of spice on the tail end. A very distinct and fine palate that is substantial, detailed, wiry and full of electricity. The finish is luxurious, lavish and extends for about 10 miles. Break out the swordfish and do it in a salmoriglio sauce.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Catarratto is becoming a rarity. A grape that was known as a ‘common’ Sicilian varietal has sadly been pulled up and replanted with grapes that are more ‘profitable’. Tasca D’Almerita perseveres, making a killer version that is grown at 3000 feet.

Aromatically compelling with flirtatious scents of pear, ruby grapefruit and subtle spices follow through to an equally flirtatious texture that is fleeting and shimmering. Surprisingly, this wine broadens and fills the mouth, following through to a delightful, well-balanced finish. Tasca’s Catarratto is a wine for an Italian dinner featuring sea bass, eggplant or grilled prawns.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Another of Sicily’s obscure wonders, the Perricone grape isn’t cultivated much in current times. When it is produced, it is often blended in with Nero D’Avola. The Tasca family has been utilizing this grape since 1954 and recently started bottling it on its own. It is human nature to want to compare. To me, given its vibrancy, maybe it is akin to Barbera.

Irresistible strawberry and mulberry shine while undertones of mint, cocoa, licorice and violet join in. Flavorful and harmonious, there is ample vivacity and suaveness to go along with deceptive depth and length. Enjoy this red with grilled lamb or pork drizzled with good olive oil, meat-filled ravioli or hard Italian cheeses.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Since it is Valentine’s Day, and with Lamuri meaning love in Sicilian dialect, we thought it to be appropriate to pour this wine made from Nero D’Avola, the spiritual grape of Sicily. This grape is grown throughout the island but is thought to come from Avola in the SE corner. Various styles of wines are made from this varietal, all with no shortage of depth of flavor.

Truth told all factions of wine drinkers will love Lamuri. Sicily in a bottle, its savory, feral aromas gently give way to pronounced plum, ground balck pepper and warm earth tones. Texturally, it is generous, detailed and dry with excellent firmness, structure and length. The licorice, along with Moroccan-spice and smoke come out on the elevated, refined finish. When tasting this one can tell that winemaker Laura Orsi desires a silkier style with the grape versus an overripe powerhouse. We could not agree more with her thinking and recommend having it over the next 4-6 years with roasted game or hard pecorino-like cheeses.