Tag Archives: Sicily

The Vincast Episode 074 – Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

Anna Martens began her wine career just outside of her home town of Adelaide, working with one of Australia’s foremost authorities on winemaking, Brian Croser. After spending almost ten years at Petaluma, she wanted to spread her wine-wings. She spent some time in New Zealand studying for the Master of Wine, but soon ended up working at the prestigious Super-Tuscan estate of Ornellaia. This was where she met her eventual husband Eric Nairoo, and through his own business importing into the UK, she was introduced to natural wines. Eventually they decided to find somewhere she could produce her own wine, and they chose the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna, where she now produces Vino di Anna.

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Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

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Passopisciaro – Mondo Imports Trade Tasting

Contrada Chiappemacine 2012
Dusty earthy subtlety, somewhat closed, a bit dirty red fruits, crunchiness. Very tight lean and focused, precise through the mid palate, intense focused tannins, crunchy slightly sour raspberries.

Contrada Porcaria 2012
A bit more open tomato some meat notes, some sinewy ripe dried herbs. Fleshier but still tight, brighter lighter but fuller too, slightly more approachable but still great tannins.

Contrada Guardiola 2012
Some dried floral notes, nice savoury sour black cherries. Powerful in the mid palate, lifted more generous tannins, slightly rounder, lovely soft finish with focused acids.

Contrada Sciaranuova 2012
Deeper darker fruit, sweet cherry notes, lovely soft florals. Surprising tightness and focus but sweeter tannins, quite expressive on the mid palate.

Contrada Rampante 2012
Very subtle, contained possibly even closed. Tight sinewy lithe tannins, drying out on the back, quite savoury earthy tannins. Chewiness.

Contrada single-vineyard wines from Passopisciaro 2012 vintage

Contrada single-vineyard wines from Passopisciaro 2012 vintage

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Passopisciaro – Boccaccio Cellars Consumer Tasting

Rosso 2007
Pretty developed on the nose, very open, possibly a reflection of vintage as well? A hint of meatiness to it. Very tight and sharp still on the palate, plenty of exuberance and sharp acids.

Rosso 2009
Not as open but certainly meatier on the nose, earthy red fruits, a touch more vibrant as well. Still lovely tightness and focus, not as crunchy, better balance of structure, better containment and potential longevity.

Rosso 2010
Lighter leaner and prettier, more subtle and complex, but also a bit more closed, meat vegetal red fruits and earth all in harmony. Juicier and softer roundness but still plenty of fresh acids and firm yet supple tannins.

Rosso 2011
Deeper more intense fruits leaning on the dark side, subtle sweet earth notes. Softer juicier fruits, more gentle tannins, more opulence in comparison to other vintages, a more gentle touch.

Rosso 2012
Punchy almost candies red fruits on the nose, a bit closed at the moment but bright crunchy pretty notes, even some florals too. Soft juicy intense sweet red fruits, warm on the palate, a tad unbalanced at the moment, lots and lots of tannin, nice complete finish, way too early. Quite tight.

Letizia Patane from Passopisciaro

Letizia Patane from Passopisciaro

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Tenuta di Castellaro – Vinitaly 2015

Bianco Pomice 2012
Leesy focus pithiness, depth saline volcanic notes. Dry lifted yet textural and elegant all at the same time.

Rosa Caolina 2014
Quite delicate, bright lifted crunchy red fruit florals. Quite expressive powerful in the palate, very fresh, very late edge of wildness.

Nero Ossidiana 2012
Dense yet soft and subtle on the palate, excellent focus, quite expressive in the front with a lovely clean finish. Nice redness of earth.

2013 Malvasia delle Lipari
Interesting gherkin notes, briny sweetness on the nose, fresh dried fruits. Pure focused slightly dirty earthy savoury sweet warm contemplative wine.

Tenuta di Castellaro

Tenuta di Castellaro

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Marco de Bartoli – Villa Favorita 2015

Lucido Cataratto 2014
Very aromatic, quite floral. Very intense crunchy focused puckering acids.

Pietranera Zibibbo 2013
Intensely aromatic musky jubes. Very dry but open on the palate. Nice grapefruit notes.

Integer Grillo 2012
Smoke on the water. Very sulphury textural savouriness.

Integer Zibbibo 2012
Really interesting influence on the aromatics. A bit wacky on the back but still had that core of fruit sweetness.

Grappoli del Grillo 2013
Mealy wheaty notes. Quite sharp on the palate.

Bukkuram Sole d’Agosto 2012
Intense raisin, intense freshness, very warm on the palate. Exceptionally young and showing some volatility.

Vecchio Samperi
Oxidative nuts, very dry, not sweet in fact. Wonderfully complex, evolved significantly on the palate.

Josephine De Bartoli

Josephine De Bartoli

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The Intrepid Wino drank things in 2014

Last year was a particularly good year for drinking for me, I have to admit it. Thanks to all the fantastic people I met and venues I discovered, who all work with some beautiful products, I got to both taste and drink (sometimes a bit too much) some amazing stuff. Some of these wines were tasted at events or trade tastings, some at my favourite bars & restaurants, and a few were tasted at wineries I visited (which was too rare in 2014). You’ll notice that many of these wines are Italian which very much reflects where I was at this year working for an importer of Italian wines, and also visiting Italy in June.

Let me know what you think, and tell me in the comments what were your highlight wines for 2014.

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2014 was a momentous year as it was the first time I tasted Claret!

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The Vincast Episode 035 – Peter Scudamore-Smith MW

Peter Scudamore-Smith was Australia’s second ever Master of Wine, the most illustrious title and qualification one can receive in the wine industry. He has led a fascinating life of wine, and he joined me on the first episode of 2015 to discuss his origins in wine, working in both Australian and European wine markets, and how his love of Italy and France has led him to take tours there as part of his business Uncorked and Cultivated.

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Peter Scudamore-Smith MW

Peter Scudamore-Smith MW

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Fonterutoli – 17/04/2012

Castello Fonterutoli 2007
Significantly showed the difference of having more oak than the sangiovese samples, and also the small addition of cabernet sauvignon. On the nose it combined roasted red capsicum with black cherry and red currants, and on the palate showed very youthful power and texture, looking very masculine.

Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2009
Had an interesting floral black fruits nose, very good concentration and balance, a clean finish with nothing sticking out.

Siepi Toscana IGT 2007
A very dense mature nose, and on the palate was soft and plum jammy, very fruit sweet and warm and quite bold in fruit and oak.

Belguardo Serrata 2009
Blend of 80% sangiovese and 20% Alicante. Wasn’t showing anywhere near as well as the 2008 did when I sold it back in Australia.

Tenuta Belguardo 2007
Very soft and full, but still elegant and structured, with expressive blackberries and powerful breadth.

Belguardo Vermentino 2007
Very big aromatics somewhere between riesling and pinot grigio, but on the palate looked like a fruit-driven viognier.

Zisola 2009
From the Sicilian property was quite dull and lifeless, also not a patch on the 2008.

Fonterutoli tasting

Fonterutoli tasting

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Azienda Agricola Cos – 8/05/2012

Rami 2010
A white wine blended from 50% insolia and 50% grecanico, and as the first wine had unusual aromatics of wild mature honey, earthy herbs, and a slight dried fish aroma. On the palate the wine was rich, textured and complete, showing the true old-world character in a complex way.

Pithos Grecanico 2010
100% grecanico fermented in amphoras, blew my head off as I smelt Japanese seaweed that you use in miso soup, whilst on the palate was approachable yet unique, showing brightness, freshness, texture and concentration with very low alcohol.

Pithos 2010
A blend of 60% nero d’avola and 40% frappato, which are all fermented in amphoras separately and then blended together. A bright clean ruby colour, aromas of wild red earth and dried red fruits, and on the palate had life and passion to it, with approachable fruit and great acids to keep things balanced yet uncomplicated.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2009
The same blend of varieties, but is fermented in cement vats and spends time in large barrels. Much more subtle and gentle on the nose, denser and easier to understand for most people, but still an excellent example.

Nero di Lupo 2008
A 100% nero d’avola wine fermented and stored in a combination of amphoras and cement vats, maturing for 18 months before another three months of bottle-age pre-release. Very closed, earthy and rustic on the nose with some wild red fruits, intense but not obvious, and on the palate was focused and concentrated with exuberant tannins and wild mushrooms.

The range of wines produced by Cos

The range of wines produced by Cos

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Arianna Occhipinti – 8/05/2012

Frappato Siccagno 2011
A very bright blackberry jam spice, but with wonderful freshness and lightness to it, not at all heavy hot or alcoholic.

Nero d’Avola Siccagno 2011
Similar aromas to the Frappato, indicating terroir translation, but was a little bit more floral with darker fruit notes and a slight savoury kick to it.

Grotte Alte 2008
A 50/50 blend of frappato and nero d’avola, and coming from larger old foudre was expressing a slight oxidative maturity from longer storage in wood. Whilst it was still wonderfully fresh like the first two, it was rounder, fuller and more complex, with concentrated tannins and depth.

SP68 (named after the road the winery is on) Bianco 2011
Very intense in floral notes, but also had some sea salt complexity on the nose, whilst on the palate was brisk and fresh, with great acids and minerality, but wasn’t expressing a lot of fruit depth and weight that the nose indicated.

SP68 Rosso 2011
A 50/50 frappato nero d’avola blend, intense peppery red tomato with black forest fruits and minerality on the nose, whilst the extended maceration gave depth, intensity, power, elegance and drive to the fresh fruits.

Il Frappato 2010
Very spicy and intense, with floral juicy raspberry, cranberry and dried herbs and lavender on the nose and on the palate was very tight, focused, delicate yet juicy and approachable.

One of the fantastic wines Arianna makes

One of the fantastic wines Arianna makes

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