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IGT Terre Siciliane 2014, Vignaverde, Marco De Bartoli ($26.90,  12755152)
This is the second vintage of the wine and the first vintage sold at the SAQ (the 2013 was available through the private import channel). 100% Grillo from organically farmed 20-year-old vines grown in the Samperi vineyard. Manually harvested and gently pressed, the grapes were picked earlier than is the case for the fruit used to make the estate’s Marsalas and oak-aged Grillo (late August as opposed to early September), the idea being to produce a fresher wine. The must was chilled and clarified by settling for 48 hours, then fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled 50 hl stainless steel tanks. Matured on the lees for six months, also in stainless steel tanks. Sulphur use is kept to a minimum. 11.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oneopole.
Wafting nose of honey-dipped apple, lemon peel (pith included), sour pineapple and chalk dust. Medium-bodied, smooth and fluid. The flavours are gorgeous and unassertive – this is a wine drawn in pastels – a cross between a lemon and an apple, say, with some pear notes chiming in on the finish. A mineral underlay adds savour while delicate acidity keeps everything fresh. Limestone, chamomile and the faintest hint of anise linger long. So suave and drinkable, a beaut. (Buy again? If only I could but it’s virtually gone from the island.)

As an accompaniment, the winery suggests “whole wheat pasta dishes, sea bass rolls [or] Sicilian truffle from Hyblaean Mountains,” all of which sound good to me. That said, this seemingly mild-mannered wine proved the best pairing yet for a darkly flavourful Sicilian rabbit stew whose ingredients include onion, celery, parsnip, olive oil, bay, pine nuts, golden raisins, garlic, fennel seed, vinegar, sugar and chocolate. Go figure

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Written by carswell

April 22, 2016 at 13:44

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