Vino

Top drops under $20 (and over) and wine news from Joelle Thomson

Category: Sicily

Sicilian Saturday in Wellington

This Saturday 10 February at Regional Wines in Wellington, we are hosting a free Sicilian wine tasting from 1pm to 5pm.

Wellington wine importer Richard Klein will open two interesting wines from the biggest island in the Mediterranean. Both are discounted for the day and open for free tasting. The red is a new vintage in store.

2015 Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso a Rina is usually $37.99 and its special price this weekend is $33.99.

If you like Pinot Noir, you’ll love this soft fruity red made with grapes grown high up on the slopes of Europe’s most active volcano – Mt Etna, in eastern Sicily. This wine is made from the quirky Sicilian Nerello Mascalese grape – a spicy, fruity, pale red, with flavours of savoury smoky tones as well as red fruit.

2016 Firriato Le Sabbie dell’Etna –  Usual $23.99    Special price $21.99

And where would you be on a summery Saturday without a bright fresh young white?  Firriato is a blend of two white grapes and also grown on Mt Etna. The Sicilian Carricante and Catarratto grapes make this wine full bodied, dry, nutty and its high altitude vineyards mean that both grapes retain acidity, which keeps this wine tasting as fresh as a daisy.

Sicilian star

Sicilian reds are one of the wine world’s most affordable full bodied wines right now. Made mostly from the indigenous Sicilian red grape, Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese), they range from $10 (NZ) to $40-ish. Not that there are many at the top end available in New Zealand and even the lower end of the market is pretty sparse in this country. So, it’s encouraging to see this big bold taste sensation now available here, thanks to Mineral wine distributors…

2014 Zisola Noto Rosso Mazzei, $26 to $30 14.5% ABV

This wine is made from the Nero d’Avola grape – indigenous to Sicily and the island’s most popular and widely planted red grape. It’s a 100% Nero, which makes this wine all the better for it (rather than blends, which can dilute the outstanding bold, distinctive blueberry like flavours of the Nero grape). In this case, the wine was aged for 10 months in 225 litre oak barriques – a modern move for Sicilia – and the result is a full bodied red, dry, velvety red with flavours of blueberries, black cherries and savoury, earth notes of coffee and chocolate. Every sip lingers.

Available from specialist stores or contact Sophie Rhodes at Mineral, email: sophie@mineralwine.co.nz or www.mineralwine.co.nz

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