Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sips From Sicily

Today I'd like to review a pair of wines from Donna Fugata winery in Sicily, Italy. Both are IGT wines, and since I'm loathe to repeat myself, see my very first entry from June 2010 entitled "Tuttobene - It's All Good" for a breakdown on what exactly that means.

Donna Fugata, or "fleeing lady," is named for Queen Maria Carolina, who hid in the land surrounding the vineyards following the storming of her palace in Naples by Napoleonic troops.

In true Italian form, neither of these labels reveal the composition of the blend, and I don't know the vast cornucopia of native Italian grapes well enough to guess. The only thing I'm certain of is that there's a good portion of Nero d'Avola in the red, because that's the most common red grape in Sicily, and this wine possesses in abundance the bright, compelling fruit I find so enjoyable in so many Nero d'Avolas. This is also the reason that varietal is made into astoundingly good dry rosés. But I digress.

The white is a lovely emerald-tinged straw color in the glass. The nose exudes ripe, luscious aromas of juicy peach, yellow plum, and pear, with some Golden Delicious apple, honeydew, and a bit of tart gooseberry rounding out the finish. The taste, however, is not the tropical vacation promised by the nose, though it is good: bright acid pushes forward flavors of mouthwatering Granny Smith apples and crisp plum. The finish is somewhat herbal, with green tea and tangy sweet basil. Caprese salad anyone?

Date: 1/16/11
Wine: Donna Fugata "Anthília" Bianca Sicilia
Grapes: unknown
Vintage: 2009
ABV: 12.5%
Origin: Sicily, Italy IGT
Color: straw with emerald highlights
Nose: peach, yellow plum, pear, sweet apple, honeydew, gooseberry
Palate: tart apple and plum; herbal finish. green tea, tangy sweet basil
Price: $12

The red is as beautiful in the glass as the white, a softly glowing violet ruby with a very bright and fruity nose. Cherry, cassis, strawberry, raspberry, with some zesty rhubarb and a hint of spicy oak around the edges. The taste is more of the same. This wine bursts forth with explosive flavors of very bright, expressive fruit. Strawberry is dominant, but its friends raspberry and rhubarb also come out to play. There is a hint of rosemary as it finishes with tart, clean acid. A perfect food wine, but it IS Italian, so who is surprised? However, with the light to medium body and zesty fruit flavors, this wine would be great by itself as well. Whether you're sipping, or pairing with homey fare like pizza, pasta, burgers, ribs, etc ... gather up some friends and  put this in your face.

Date: 3/2/11
Wine: Donna Fugata "Sedára" Rosso Sicilia
Grapes: unknown
Vintage: 2008
ABV: 13%
Origin: Sicily, Italy IGT
Color: violet ruby
Nose: bright and fruity nose! cherry, cassis, strawberry, rhubarb, raspberry, oaky spice
Palate: very bright, expressive fruit! strawberry flavors foremost, then raspberry, rhubarb, rosemary, with tart, clean acid on fruity finish (straw/razz)
Price: $12

No comments:

Post a Comment