(2022) Quite fragrant, some herbal and wild scrubland aromas. This organically grown wine is related to Catarrato, and has crisp, dry lemon and firm underripe pear fruit that is cool and precise. Plenty of mouth-watering minerally acidity, firm with a nuance of an Epsom salts edge.
(2022) A lightly-oaked Nero d'Avola from the Italian island of Sicily that spent a few months in oak barrels. Deep in colour, the nose has a fragrant black cherry lift to the aroma, quite pretty and touching on floral, before a very juicy palate, the ripe blackberry fruit set against a little toast and earthiness, the tannins supple and the acidity giving a fine, dry, plum-skin finish to the wine.
(2022) Organically-grown Nero d'Avola from the west of Sicily, there's a firmness on the nose, a hint of something herbal even grassy to red berries. Plenty of bite and grip, a very small hint of 6g/l sugar offsets the acid that comes from higher altitude vineyards.
(2022) A Sicilian wine bottled in what Laithwaites is describing as 'wild glass' - 100% post-consumer recycled glass. A bright cherry colour, lifted and beaujolais-like cherry and raspberry aromas with a touch of floral character. Very juicy and pretty, a similar marriage of bright, lipsticky red fruits but the tannins and good acidity do kick in to give this a little bitter, Negroni-like note in the finish.
(2022) Six months ageing in barrel for this wine, from vineyards rehabilitated after their village was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968. Inky dark crimson in colour, and a cool liquorice and blueberry fruit character, a touch of rounding charriness from the the barrels. The palate has plenty of smooth, ripe and mouth-filling fruit. It has flesh and succulence on the palate, a sweet and ripe edge to the cherry and red plum, and it finishes with a smooth, creamy tannin and acid balance.
(2021) Relatively pale ruby to chestnut in colour, there's a gentle earthiness, creaminess and soft autumnal quality to this, with spiced berry fruit. In the mouth it is dry and has a sappy, spicy quality, just hinting at sweet berry fruit again, even a hint of mocha, but the freshness of the acidity and some bitter cherry and endive strictness keep it quite pert and zippy to the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2021) From vineyards that rise to 900 metres on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, the Nerello Mascalese grape variety is proving to be something of a star. It often shows a pale, Pinot-like character, and that is true in this example, with small cherry and redcurrant aromas, and a definite undertow of briar and truffle. Ageing in barrel adds just a supportive sheen of oak. In the mouth this is dry and arguably lean, but that gives precision and freshness, the gentle red fruits and keen balance of acidity and tannin extending the finish. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Made from 70% Nero d’Avola fermented in open top barriques, plus Frappato fermented in amphorae where it remains in contact with the skins for up to 12 months. The wines are then blended and aged for six months in barriques and botti. There's an Amarone-like character here, a little bit dusty and yet with cherry and vanilla in the mix. In the mouth it is nicely elegant, with enough fruit sweetness but plenty of balancing sours and acids, the finish gastronomic and mouth-watering. Unusual and enjoyable.
(2021) Made from 100% Nero d’Avola, aged 10 months in French oak barriques, this has a crowd-pleasing 7.8g/l of residual sugar, which is apparent in the sweet and soft fruity finish. Very dark in colour, it opens with cherry and violet, a hint of chocolate, and pulpy black berry fruit. In the mouth round and caressing because of that sweetness, substantial and fleshy, a little mocha from the oak and enough acidity to counteract the sweetness and modesty of the tannins. If you are not too snobbish about your wines, you'd have to like this charmer.
(2021) A wine I've tasted in a previous vintage and really enjoyed, but I think this one ramps up the pleasure principle even further. The Grillo grapes are partially dried in the sun before fermentation, a technique traditionally used on Sicily for sweet wines, but here the wine fermented to dryness. That creates some unique textures and flavours in the wine, which pours a pale gold colour and opens with honey, nuts and grilled peach. In the mouth there's a leading edge of really sweet, ripe and plump juicy stone fruits, the texture quite creamy and full. A relatively gentle lime acidity gives the balance here, the subtle honeyed note still there into a very decent finish. It's £8.99 as part of a mixed six bottles at Majestic, but for once I think the headline £9.99 would still be money well spent. Watch the video for more information.