Sicily, Messina

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Sicily and its wines.

white wines

Tenuta Gatti, Catalina 2012, Italy
DOC Mamertino, from Messina. A blend of Insolia and Grillo, which is pleasing, fruity, with tiny floral and exotic peach down notes to apple fruit and citrus. The palate has open, lightly tropical fruit with nectarine and peach skins giving just a little grip, and lovely freshness. It blooms with a sweet mid-palate, very crowd pleasing and fruit forward, but the tight grip of the cool acidity in the finish is excellent. 88/100.

Tasca d’Almerita, Didyme Malvasia 2013, Italy
IGT Salina, from Messina. Lovely bright nose, so fresh and floral touched, lots of grapey brightness and focus. The palate is well balanced, though not overflowing fruity, but it does has a charming balance and very nicely fresh finish with a bit of substance and length. 88-89/100.

red wines

Planeta, Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese, Italy
DOC Sicilia, from Messina. Nice hint of softness to the colour, but good aromatic strength and richness. Sweet cappuccino nose, with lots of briar and a hint of game. It doesn’t quite follow through on the palate – though it has lovely fruit and a definite sense of refinement, I just miss an ounce of grip, though undeniably lovely and balanced. 89-90/100.

Casematte, Quattroenne 2012, Italy
DOC Faro, from Messina. 55% Nerello Mascalese 55%, 25% Nerello Cappuccio, 10% Nocera and 10% Nero d’Avola. A very slightly dank note on first sniff, moving into quite attractive animal, bloody notes with a hint of the floral. Quite complex and attractive. Bloody and rich on the palate, with powerful fruit and a deep truffly intensity. The oak is well handled, and this gains juiciness and energy from the cherry skin grip of the acids. Stylish, rich and very good in the end. 90-91/100.

Casematte, Figliodiennenne 2012, Italy
IGP Terre Siciliane, from Messina. 70% Nerello Mascalese and 30% Nocera. High, briary aromas, lovely freshness and lift, the warmth and vanilla, lightly creamy character is lovely, with a weight of rich, dark fruit coming through on the palate. Bramble and plum fruit, but really nicely focused stuff with excellent grip and dry, savoury power as well as deep set fruit. Ageworthy. 91/100.

Tenuta Gatti, Cvrpane Rosso 2009, Italy
DOC Mamertino, from Messina. A blend of Nero d’Avola and Nocera. Huge gravy browning nose, loads of meatiness and dark fruit, tinged with coffee. Deep and powerful. There is a lot of oak here, lots of char and a slightly drying quality on the palate. It has spice in abundance and so much muscle and brawn. Not a fantastically elegant wine, but impressively imposing. 88/100.

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