Fall Release Report – Southern Italy
From the hot, dry, challenging 2012 vintage across Italy’s south and islands, look for success stories including the 2012 Cusamano Benuara Sicilia IGT $18, Nero d’Avola with 30% Syrah, a nice crossover style for glass pours and the holiday table. The 2012 De Lucia Falanghina Sannio DOC $22 from Campania, is a round, creamy, softly-textured and citrusy wine with hints of yellow rose and Strega. Sannio, inland near the border of Molise, has been producing wines from this grape since Pre-Roman times. The benchmark 2012 Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina del Sannio DOC $18, from high elevation vineyards near Irpinia, is slightly richer, more minerally, and has a bitter orange note that would complement similar flavors in a dish, such as prawns with orange and coriander or spaghetti with orange and anchovy. From clay and limestone soils of sun-drenched Puglia, the 2012 Castello Monaci Acante Fiano Salento IGT $16 gives a much fruitier profile than it does in Campania, with grilled pineapple, quince, and roasted almond notes. Try this with pasta with mild Padron peppers, olive oil, and slivered almonds or pine nuts, and grated Grana Padana.
The fragrant, peachy and slightly nutty 2012 Cantine Dolianova Prendas Vermentino de Sardegna DOC $15 will pair beautifully with char-grilled fish with its bright, juicy fruit and clean finish. The 2012 Planeta La Segreta Sicilia DOC $14, a blend of 50% Grecanico, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Viognier, and 10% Fiano, was a pleasant surprise considering it’s turquoise screwcap and simple label, which, hand in hand with its new DOC should help it find many homes here. It is light with lemon, slivered almond and apricot notes – very appealing as a starter, or with lighter fish and shellfish dishes, especially more delicate, sweeter, and softly textured fish. The organically-farmed 2012 Masseria del Feudo Bianco Inzolia-Grillo Il Giglio Sicilia DOC $16 is fresh and snappy with that little hint of white flower, petrol, and hazelnut found more commonly in the north, and is elegant enough to pour or pair in the most formal dining rooms. I wouldn’t say that about this slightly feistier one however. If you haven’t tried Italy’s first DOCG Rosato, here is your chance. The 2012 Rivera Pungirosa Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG $16 is deeply fruity with notes of rosehip and white mushroom and works well with light dishes such as orrechiette with broccolini.
Have you had an inspiring Italian wine lately? What was it about the wine that made it stand out? Why is it hard to understand Italian wine without food?
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