Villa Pozzi Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC 2015

pozzi15

Winery: For many generations the Pozzi Family has been making and selling wine. Beginning in Cremona, northern Italy the current owner’s great grandfather established relationships with local growers and producers and travelled throughout Italy selling their wines. The winery and vineyards were established in northwestern Sicily in 1860, today 4th generation winemaker Daniele Pozzi, who continues expanding the family’s connections, heads the estate.

Philosophy: The family’s motto is “Res non Verba” [Deeds not Words], and aims to produce high quality wines at affordable prices.

Winemaking: All of their wines are “made to be enjoyed upon release and have a ripe, fruit-forward style”. Vineyards are located in the hills surrounding Marsala, Salemi and Mazzara del Vallo in northwestern Sicily and have an average vine age of 25 years. Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards with clay soils in western Sicily. “Finished in stainless steel instead of oak, which lets the fresh fruit character of Sicily’s native Nero d’Avola grape shine through.”

Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry pie, spiced oak and dusty earth. Cherry driven with streaks of pomegranate, red currant and sour cherry dusted with a shake of white pepper. Baked cherry, vanilla and toasted oak comprise the dry, lengthy finish. A good value and companion to everyday dishes like pizza and pasta.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Enjoy with rich pastas and grilled meats.

Nero d’Avola [I could not verify varietal percentage, although it must be at least 80% for DOC status.]
Sicilia DOC
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Cantine Europa SCA
13% Alcohol
$7
Enjoy now

Judeka Frappato Vittoria DOC 2014

judeka2

Winery: Judeka was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate Sicilian entrepreneurs, led by Valentina Nicodemo. Beginning with nothing but land, they have quickly developed into a stunning winery captained by a group of passionate winemakers. With an awareness of the impact winemaking takes on the environment, the winery is driven to be as carbon neutral as possible. A photovoltaic system provides all of their electricity needs, an artificial wetland system has been introduced to treat wastewater, which is then returned to the vines in an irrigation system.

Philosophy: “Respect for nature and the consumer.”

Winemaking: Strict organic methods are followed in the vineyard and winery.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant ruby red in colour with aromas of black cherry, strawberry, clove, and the slightest wisp of menthol. Flavours mirror the aromas; a sublime combo of soft tannins and bright acidity backs black cherry, black currant and a hint of rosemary. Blackberry and warmly spiced clove notes linger on the savoury finish. Friendly and engaging, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Frappato
Vittoria DOC
Sicily
Italy
Produced & Bottled by Judeka SRL
13% Alcohol
$20 [average price]
Enjoy now

Rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast

Frank Cornelissen ‘Contadino’ Rosso IGT Terre Siciliane 2014

contadino

Estate: Pioneering Belgian winemaker Frank Cornelissen is renowned for his strict adherence to extremely minimal intervention, natural winemaking methods. His 15 hectare estate is located on the north slope of Mount Etna in Sicily. The 12 hectares of vineyards have an elevation range from 1900 to 3200 feet above sea level. Cornelissen’s goal for the land “is to evolve towards a self-sustainable agricultural reality based on the trilogy of Mediterranean farming (cereals, olive oil and wine) without exploiting Mother Earth, to produce whilst also returning, evolving towards equilibrium of the land, which will take time”.

Philosophy: “Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions. We therefore choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves. Consequently this has taken us to avoiding all possible interventions on the land we cultivate, including any treatments, whether chemical, organic, or biodynamic, as these are all a mere reflection of the inability of man to accept nature as she is and will be.”

Winemaking: With a vision of crafting “liquid rock”, he does not use any treatments of any type in the vineyards, nor does he add anything, including sulphur, during the winemaking process. Wines are aged in clay amphorae that are buried in the volcanic soil of the cellar. Contadino is an “entry-level” red comprised mostly of Nerello Mascalese along with other indigenous varietals, a few of which such as Minella bianco, are white varietals. Grapes for Contadino are sourced from old vines with an average age of 50 years. “Contadino expresses Etna as made in a traditional way of blending different varietals: fragrant, elegant, structured with personality.”

*Because no SO2 is added, Frank advises keeping the wine below 16 °C [61 F] during transport and storage, and not decanting it.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with engaging aromas of cherry, graham cracker, rose petal and some Brothers Johnson funk. Light to medium bodied, tingly acidity and dry tannins are the foundation for a striking melody of flavours. Mouth puckering sour cherry fuses with wild raspberry and floral hints. Pignoli nuts and dusty earth fill out the middle palate, whilst smoky earth and red fruit notes linger on the dry finish. Fascinating and delicious!

85% Nerello Mascalese with a “field blend” of Nerello Capuccio, Allicante Boushet, Minella nera, Uva Francesa and Minella bianco.
IGT Terre Siciliane *Beginning with the 2015 vintage the Denomination will be Etna DOC
Sicily
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Frank Cornelissen
14% Alcohol
$28
Enjoy now thru 2017

For a closer peek at Frank Cornelissen, check out Eric Asimov’s August 2016 article, The Evolution of a Natural Winemaker in the New York Times

Feudo di Santa Tresa Frappato Terre Siciliane IGP 2015

tresafrappato

A native grape of Sicily, with Sangiovese as one of its parents, Frappato produces fresh, tart, light bodied wines.

Estate: Dating back to 1697 [and consistently been producing wine since then], Feudo di Santa Tresa is headed by Stefano Girelli. Located in Vittoria, southern Sicily the estate consists of about 50 hectares of vineyards. Promoting an organic, sustainable ecosystem, the estate focuses their “attention on nature, in order to emphasize its qualities, rather than exploiting or modifying it”. They are committed “to championing local indigenous grape varieties”. In addition they have recently introduced a local Sicilian bee species to the estate, which will aid in natural pollination. All of the packaging is recycled and free of chemicals, right down to the vegetable based ink on the recycled label.

Philosophy: To “work in harmony with nature to make expressive, organic wines full of Sicilian character and soul”.

Winemaking: The estate takes a holistic approach to every aspect of winemaking. Certified organic, the family grown grapes are cultivated using sustainable, time honoured methods such as cover crops and natural herbicides.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant transparent garnet in colour with aromas of strawberry and dusty earth. Sour cherry, wild strawberry and whimsical hints of watermelon are buoyed by bright acidity. Sour candy flavours along with hints of white pepper comprise the fruity finish. Fresh, light and fruity, this is fantastic on its own and with a wide variety of dishes. [Tamlyn Curri writes in her review on Jancis Robinson’s website: “It’s a wine that begs to be chilled.” Indeed, 20 minutes in the fridge and the silky fruit flavours really pop.]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Grilled or barbequed poultry and tomato-based pasta dishes go very well Frappato and it complements certain fish dishes brilliantly.

Frappato [I could not verify variatel percentage.]
Terre Siciliane IGP
Sicily
Italy
Bottled by COD. IT/FI 15632 on behalf of Santa Tresa SRL
13% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now thru 2017

Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Bianco Sicilia DOC 2015

Processed with Snapseed.

Estate: The Tasca d’Almerita family of estates consists of the Regaleali, Capofaro, and Whitaker estates. The Tasca family has farmed the Regaleali estate since 1837. Today the 8th generation of the family, Count Lucio Tasca, oversees all of the nearly 600 hectares of vineyards along with his sons, Giuseppe and Alberto. The family is committed to sustainability; they are behind the ‘SOStain’ programme, an organization that guides companies towards increasing their sustainability. The name of the wine reflects the “thousands of roses, brought in from all over the world”, that flourish throughout the Regaleali estate.

Philosophy: Passionate about eco-sustainability, the Regaleali estate is nearly completely self-sufficient; all of their food is grown on the estate and they are working toward a carbon neutral rating. Their goal of achieving eco-sustainability “is a self-regulated, pro-active scheme to reach our goals through positive actions both in the short term and in the mid-to-long term” that they achieve using “science, technology and organization”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards planted in 1957 with clay and sandy-loam soils. Cool-fermented in stainless steel, aged for 3 months in stainless steel, then 1 month in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with aromas of apple, pear and melon. Tasting similar to fruit aromas with an undercurrent of sweet honeysuckle complimented by zippy acidity. Saline minerals and bitter almond linger between each sip. Straightforward, with an inviting blend of contrasting flavours [sweet/bitter], great on its on or with a wide variety of everyday dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Importer: Antipasti, cerviche, seafood, Asian dishes.

Inzolia, Grecanico, Catarratto, Chardonnay [Variatel percentages vary each vintage, I was not able to confirm percentages for 2015.]
Sicilia DOC
Italy
Bottled by Tasca D’Almerita Soc. AGR. a R.L.
12% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now