1 Feb 2018 / 11:02

Smarwines Berebene 2018: Sicily

Our Berebene guide to good, inexpensive wines has always given generous space to Sicilian labels. Here are all the products with the best quality/price ratio.

Smarwines Berebene 2018: Sicily

Our Berebene guide to good, inexpensive wines has always given generous space to Sicilian labels. Here are all the products with the best quality/price ratio.

The revolution of Sicilian wines

When it comes to Sicilian wine, we celebrate the positive evolution in quality over the last 20 years. It is better described as a revolution, beginning quietly in the early 1990s when a group of courageous producers, especially Giacomo Rallo, Diego Planeta and Lucio Tasca, started to rethink their wineries. They began to focus principally on territory, indigenous varieties, and quality. The Sicilian model inspired others, and within a few years, the revolution would catch on in almost all the island’s wineries. Many firms attained international success and led large Italian wine companies to invest in Sicily, groups such as Zonin, G.I.V. and Mezzocorona, as well as historic names such as Marzotto, Panerai, De Grazia, Moretti, Mazzei and recently, Gaja. But the Sicilian wine world is made up above all of small wineries that learned the lesson well and undertook the pathway to focusing on their territories and indigenous varieties. These vital wineries are now the backbone of the island’s production, and its historic denominations, such as Etna, Vittoria and Faro, are back in the limelight after decades of oblivion. A further push to the increased quality of the island’s wines certainly in came in 2011 with the establishment of the Consorzio di Tutela dei vini della DOC Sicilia. This agency guarantees the protection of quality production with strong territorial identity of Sicilian grape varieties such as grillo and nero d’Avola, and has provided Sicilian producers with another instrument designed to foster the growth of the Sicilian brand and the minor denominations.

Sicilia Grillo Cavallo delle Fate '16 | Tasca dAlmerita | c.da Regaleali | Sclafani Bagni [PA]| tel. 0916459711

www.tascadalmerita.it| 11.70 euros

The Tasca d'Almerita family has been producing wine on its beautiful Regaleali estate in Sclafani Bagni since 1830. Its history and family traditions make it one of the few Italian wineries that can compare with an historic French chateau. We liked this year's Grillo, Cavallo delle Fate ’16, with its clean, fragrant notes of fresh pineapple and medicinal herbs. Sip after pleasant sip is encouraged by a savory palate, rich in fruity pulp and supported by good acidic backbone.

Passomaggio '14 | Abbazia Santa Anastasia | c.da Santa Anastasia | Castelbuono [PA] | tel. 0921671959

www.abbaziasantanastasia.com| 11.80 euros

The Abbazia Sant'Anastasia owns sixty-five hectares of vineyard, all managed by certified biodynamic methods. They lie in a hilly zone of the Castelbuono countryside, around the abbey that dates back to the 12th century. It is now a beautiful wine resort. A blend of nero d'Avola with a small amount of international grapes, Passomaggio ’14is striking for the elegance of its rich fruit on both nose and palate. It is ruled by fine acidic tension that lasts right through its long finish.

Sicilia Nero dAvola Donnatà '16 | Alessandro di Camporeale | c.da Mandranova | Camporeale [PA] | tel. 092437038 | www.alessandrodicamporeale.it| 8.20 euros

The Alessandro family has been producing wine in Camporeale for four generations. Like every good vignaiolo, they begin with passionate attention to their more than 35 hectares of organic vineyard, the strong point of this fine family business. Their Nero d'Avola Donnatà ’16displays a nose typical for the variety, ranging from red berry notes to floral tones and sea salt. The palate is rhythmic and savory, propelled by fine acidic energy.

Fiordiligi ‘16 | Assuli | c.da Carcitella | Mazara del Vallo [TP] | tel. 0923546706 | www.assuli.it| 9.70 euros

The new, modern winery of the Caruso family is in Mazara del Vallo while their over 100 hectares of vineyard are distributed in four different production areas, chosen accoridng to the soil requirements of the varieties planted. Fiordiligi ’16is a monovarietal grillo of notable aromatic impact, with fragrances of wisteria, aromatic herbs and citrus fruit. Fresh and easy to drink, it is not at all banal and finds its balance on the palate in the embrace of clean, tonic fruit and impetuous acidity.

Sicilia Bianco Adènzia '16 | Baglio del Cristo di Campobello | loc. c.da Favarotta | s.da st.le 123 km 19,200 | Campobello di Licata [AG] | tel. 0922 877709 | www.cristodicampobello.it| 12.60 euros

The Bonetta family has always made wine in the Campobello di Licata countryside. It is, however, only fifteen years since they began bottling it under their own brand name. The wines reflect their territory but are modern in style, varietal, clean and well-made. Adènzia ’16is a blend of insolia and grillo, with mineral aromas and notes of white fruit and citrus fruit on the nose. Elegant, savory and long on the palate, it stands out for its pleasant drinkability.

Shymer '14 | Baglio di Pianetto | loc. Pianetto | via Francia | Santa Cristina Gela [PA] | tel. 0918570002 | www.bagliodipianetto.it| 8.00 euros

Count Paolo Marzotto's winery has two different production areas, in Santa Cristina Gela near Palermo and in Noto. The two terroirs are very different, the first being at 600 meters above sea level, near the sea. The second location has calcareous and skeleton-rich soil. Shymer ’14is a blend of syrah from Noto and merlot grown in Santa Cristina. The nose is intense and persistent, with tones of plum, pepper and Mediterranean herbs. The palate is energetic and generous, notable for the fine balance between tannins and fruit.

Frappato Barunieddu '16 | Biscaris | via Maresciallo Giudice, 52 | Acate [RG] | tel. 0932990762 | www.biscaris.it| 10.00 euros

This small winery in Acate, with slightly more than five hectares of vineyard, in the best vintage years produces about 20,000 bottles of true and natural wines, as they like to proudly repeat. The Frappato Baruneddu ’16appealed to us for its easy drinkability and savory mineral note. On the nose, notes of red berries stand out, and more herbaceous tones suggest a potpourri of aromatic herbs.

Rosato '16 | Bonavita | loc. Faro Superiore | c.da Corso | Messina | tel. 3471754683 | www.bonavitafaro.com| 8.00 euros

In 2002, when Giovanni Scarfone had just graduated with a degree in agronomy, he made his first version of Faro in the newly-founded winery of Bonavita. Not much has changed since then except for Giovanni's deepened experience. His labels are now totally reliable, without losing that aura of garage wine that has surrounded them since the first harvest. Rosato ’16is extremely pleasant, with aromas of raspberries and sea salt. It is fresh, savory, and lively on the palate.

Peloro Rosso '15 | Le Casematte | loc. Faro Superiore | c.da Corso | Messina | tel. 0906409427 | www.lecasematte.it| 10.00 euros

Le Casematte is one of the few important new names on the Sicilian wine front. In a few years, Gianfranco has built, with infinite passion, a small winery equipped with the best winemaking technology available. His eleven hectares of organic vineyard are tended like a garden. When passion and bravura meet, great wines can emerge, such as the supremely elegant Peloro Rosso ’15, an impressive label from this establishment in the Messina zone.

Sicilia Giato Rosso '16 | Centopassi | via Porta Palermo, 132 | San Giuseppe Jato [PA] | tel. 0918577655 | www.centopassisicilia.it| 8.20 euros

The cooperatives Placido Rizzotto andPio La Torre,along with Don Ciotti's Libera, have managed 400 hectares of land confiscated from local mafiosi for more than 15 years. The entire property, including 70 hectares of vineyard, is farmed organically. The grapes in Giato Rosso ’16are the typical ones of the territory, nero d’Avola andperricone, which confer aromas of red fruit, violets and aromatic herbs. The mouthfeel is pleasantly tannic and the wine is easy to drink.

Sicilia Zibibbo Vitese '16 | Colomba Bianca | via Giovanni Falcone, 72 | Mazara del Vallo [TP] | tel. 0923942747 | www.cantinecolombabianca.it| 8.20 euros

The Columba Bianca winery is one of Italy's largest cooperatives, with 2,480 members and 7,500 hectares of vineyard in five Sicilian provinces: Trapani, Agrigento, Palermo, Caltanissetta andRagusa.Zibibbo Vitese ’16is both organic and vegan. A very pleasant wine, it has exotic and citrus fruit aromas, along with mint and other medicinal herb fragrances. The palate is fresh and aromatic, and easy, pleasant drinkability goes along with perfect equilibrium between fruit and acidity.

Passito '12 | Cantine Colosi | loc. Pace del Mela | fraz. Giammoro | Messina | tel. 0909385549 | www.cantinecolosi.it| 10.90 euro

The Colosi family winery has vineyards both in the Messina zone and on the island of Salina, where it recently opened a new, beautiful facility. The Passito ’12is incredibly good, especially considering its price. It is a Moscato, a lovely golden color with orange highlights. The nose is dense and persistent, with hints of dates, dried apricots, lavender and baked figs. In the mouth it is fresh and sweet, but not cloying. The finish is tonic and persistent.

Eloro Nero dAvola Eos '16 | Curto | loc. Contrada Sulla | s.da st.le 115 Ispica - Rosolini km 358 | Ispica [RG] | tel. 0932950161 | www.curto.it| 7.10 euros

For years, Francesca Curto has headed the winemaking branch of the family estate founded at the beginning of the 18th century. It has always specialized in the production of nero d'Avola. Francesca delights in different versions of this typical Sicilian variety, here made into a rosé, with excellent results. Eos 16is a brilliant cherry color. On the nose, tones of cherries and raspberry; on a fresh and persistent palate, the fragrant pleasantness of the wine stands out.

Angimbé Tenuta Ficuzza '16 | Cusumano | loc. c.da San Carlo | s.da st.le 113 km 307 | Partinico [PA] | tel. 0918908713 | www.cusumano.it| 11.30 euros

All the labels from Alberto and Diego Cusumano's winery offer a modern style and extreme drinkability. They also share an excellent price/quality rapport at both ends of the price range, not only the so-called base wines, but above all the top ones. We justifiably award Angimbé ’16, a blend of insolia and chardonnay grown at 700 meters above sea level on the Ficuzza property, for its aromas of wisteria and lavender and its intriguing, flavorful palate.

Benuara Tenuta Presti e Pegni '16 | Cusumano | loc. c.da San Carlo | s.da st.le 113 km 307

Partinico [PA] | tel. 0918908713 | www.cusumano.it| 11.80 euros

The beautiful Cusumano winery draws from seven different properties, more than 500 hectares, divided among three different provinces: Palermo, Caltanisetta and Siracusa. This Benuara red, a nero d'Avola with some syrah added, comes from the 70 hectares of the Presti e Pegni farm on the hills of Monreale in the Palermo province. The ’16vintage is generous and rich in fruit on the nose. The palate is surprisingly assertive and lively, with a long, persistent finish that blends fruit and sapidity.

Sicilia Nero dAvola Sherazade '16 | Donnafugata | via S. Lipari, 18 | Marsala [TP] | tel. 0923724200 | www.donnafugata.it| 11.20 euros

Antonio and Josè Rallo's handsome winery has recently purchased two new properties on Etna and in Vittoria, emphasizing even more their presence in Sicily. They are already important in Marsala, Contessa Entellina and Pantelleria.This Sherazade ’16is very pleasant, almost playful, without losing complexity. It offers varietal aromas of ripe red fruit, violets and spices, accentuated by an elegant iodine background. The palate is vibrant and energetic, and leaves a notable fruity aftertaste in the mouth.

Sicilia Zibibbo Lighea '16 | Donnafugata | via S. Lipari, 18 | Marsala [TP] | tel. 0923724200 | www.donnafugata.it| 12.10 euros

Zibibbo is also known as moscato d'Alessandria. Until a few years ago, the grape was almost exclusively used in Sicily to make raisin wines, that is, passiti. Over the last few years, producers have begun to vinify zibibbo dry, obtaining versatile and aromatically very interesting wines. One example is Lighea ’16, with its ample and assertive fragrances of ripe fruit, especially peaches and loquats, roses and aromatic herbs. In the mouth, flavor is assertive, very fresh and generous.

Marsala Sup. Ambra Secco Vecchio Florio '13 | Duca di Salaparuta | via Nazionale, s.da st.le 113 | Casteldaccia [PA] | tel. 091945201 | www.duca.it| 7.70 euros

We admire Florio for having concentrated on relaunching Marsala, restoring the wines to the quality they once offered. The company's historic building, the baglio on the Marsala waterfront, has been perfectly restored, and its enoteca wine bar is open even for a simple aperitivo on a panoramic terrace. Vecchio Florio ’13has intense fragrances of dried fruit, candied citrus fruit and aromatic herbs. The palate is fresh, intense, silky, and extremely persistent.

Vento di Mare Nero dAvola '16 | Cantine Ermes | c.da Salinella | Santa Ninfa [TP] | tel. 092467153 | www.cantineermes.it| 7.10 euros

Cantine Ermes is an important cooperative in the Valle del Belice. It can count on five wineries, 1,200 members and 4,800 hectares of vineyard. Like other Sicilian cooperatives, Ermes has focused on quality wines in recent years, working well in its vineyards and on yields. Nero d'Avola Vento di Mare ’16 displays fragrances of plum, blueberries and wild flowers. On the palate, finely woven flavor is well-balanced between elegant tannins and wonderfully juicy fruit.

Grillo Roceno '16 | Cantine Europa | s.da st.le 115, km 42,400 | Petrosino [TP] |tel. 0923961866 | www.sibilianavini.it| 6.00 euros

It is a pleasure to note how the level of quality of wines produced in Sicily by cooperative wineries has notably grown in recent years. In the wide and reliable range offered by Cantine Europe, we found at least a half-dozen wines worthy of awards. We choseGrillo Roceno ’16for its aromas of fruit and white flowers. On the palate, pleasant shadings of savory and fruity tones and a fresh, aromatic finish.

Laeneo Nerello Cappuccio '15 | Tenuta di Fessina | loc. c.da Rovittello | via Nazionale, 22 s.da st.le 120 | Castiglione di Sicilia [CT] | tel. 3458346477 | www.tenutadifessina.com| 11.80 euros

Silvia Maestrelli's winery in Rovittello is alongside a very old vineyard of nerello mascalese andnerello cappucciograpes. From these monumental, often century-old, ungrafted vines come Silvia's great reds. Among them is the delicious Laeneo ’15.Its fine nose offers a parade of aromas that range from wild strawberries to raspberries, from smoky and mineral tones to tobacco and violets. On the palate, well-composed, harmonious fruit is elegantly wrapped in silky, dense tannins.

Baglio del Sole Nero dAvola '16 | Feudi del Pisciotto | c.da Pisciotto | Niscemi [CL] | tel. 09331930280 | www.castellare.it| 6.90 euros

The Baglio del Sole line is an integral part of the Feudi Pisciotto project. Paolo Panerai's winery, besides producing high quality labels, also includes a wine resort and an elegant restaurant. This fresh-tasting Nero d’Avola ’16 conquers the palate with its praiseworthy aromatic range. In the mouth, fruit is energized by. lively tannins.

Grillo '16 | Feudo Maccari | loc. c.da Maccari | s.da prov.le Pachino-Noto km 13,500 | Noto [SR] | tel. 0931596894

| www.feudomaccari.it| 9.90 euros

Antonio Moretti deserves credit for having immediately believed in the potential of the grillo grape planted in the Noto zone. Besides this label, Maccari produces another that is among the top of the range. Grillo ’16presents itself on the nose with generous fragrances of fruit, yellow flowers and sea salt. The palate is agile and tonic, domnated by fruit, and closes on a long and savory finish.

Sicilia Brut Neroluce | Feudo Principi di Butera | c.da Deliella | Butera [CL] | tel. 0934347726 | www.feudobutera.it| 11.60 euros

Feudo Principi di Butera has been planning to widen its range of labels with a line of spumanti for some time now. After a couple of years of studying the most suitable varieties and trying different micro-vinifications, a Martinotti-method wine has been bottled, made from nero d'Avola grapes. Another variation is now resting on its lees to complete the long aging process required by Metodo Classico wines. Neroluce displays fruity and delicately herbaceous notes on the nose, and is fresh and savory in the mouth. Its bubbles are elegant and persistent.

Sicilia Catarratto Caeles '16 | Firriato | loc. Paceco | via Trapani, 4 | Paceco [TP] | tel. 0923526766 | www.firriato.it| 11.80 euros

Salvatore and Vinzia Di Gaetano run one of the most ecologically sound wineries on the entire island. All 320 hectares of their vineyards are organic and environmentally sustainable. Caeles ’16has a lovely elegant nose with herbaceous and mineral tones. The harmonious palate is notable for its enjoyable freshness and sapidity. The wine is also suitable for vegan consumers.

Bello Mio '16 | Fondo Antico | fraz. Rilievo | via Fiorame, 54a | Trapani | tel. 0923864339 | www.fondoantico.it| 8.50 euros

The Polizzotti Scuderifamily winery is located between Trapani and Marsala. It can draw from about 80 hectares of vineyard. Bello Mio ’16is made from zibibbo grapes that have been vinified dry. Both nose and palate show character and originality. Tropical fruit, lavender and citrus fruit offer a wide olfactory spectrum while in the mouth, the natural sweetness of the zibibbo is compensated for by very fresh acidity and a long finish with a delightfully pleasant savory vein.

Sicilia Grillo Parlante '16 | Fondo Antico | fraz. Rilievo | via Fiorame, 54a | Trapani | tel. 0923864339 | www.fondoantico.it| 9.70 euros

It's worth noting that this beautiful Trapanese winery belonging to the Polizzotti Scuderi family for several generations was among the first to believe in the potential of the grillo grape, vinifying and bottling it on its own, as a monovarietal. Grillo Parlante ’16has a clean, lively aroma, with fragrances of citrus fruit, freshly peeled almonds and lavender, along with pleasant herbaecous notes. The palate shows good structure, sapidity, and is well balanced between acidity and fruit.

Hierà Rosso '15 | Hauner | loc. Santa Maria | via G.Grillo, 61 | Messina | tel. 0906413029 | www.hauner.it| 11.80 euros

Carlo Hauner's winery is famous above all for its production of extraordinary Malvasia delle Lipari, but also for dry whites based on the same variety. This year we want to point out a red wine from a five-hectare vineyard on the island of Vulcano. It is a blend of nero d’Avola, alicante andnocera,In the mouth it is fragrant and juicy, while on the nose, fruity tones are well joined to a smoky mineral note.

Sicilia Nero dAvola '16 | Masseria del Feudo | c.da Grottarossa | Caltanissetta | tel. 0934569719 | www.masseriadelfeudo.it| 8.30 euros

The beautiful winery of Carolina and Francesco Curcurullo is one of the few winegrowing properties in the Caltanissetta zone. Its eighty hectares of vineyard are entirely organically farmed. Sicilia Nero d’Avola ’16is pleasant and well made. The nose offers balsamic aromas and berry notes. The palate is agile, tonic and well-sustained by clean, dense tannins and by a fresh current of supportive acidity.

Eloro Nero dAvola Filinona '12 | Cantina Modica di San Giovanni | c.da Bufalefi | Noto [SR] | tel. 09311805181 | www.vinidinoto.it| 8.00 euros

Cantina Modica di San Giovanni has produced wine for over two centuries in the Noto countryside. The vineyards surround the historic baglio, or farmhouse, in which the Cantina headquarters are located. They are in the Bufalefi zone, one of the best for winegrowing in the entire Noto area. This austere Nero d’Avola Filinona ’12is both typical and territorial in its traits. An elegant nose displays tones of fruit jam and spices. The palate is fresh and harmonious, with good balance between fine round fruit and consistent tannins.

Sicilia Nero dAvola '15 | Morgante | c.da Racalmare | Grotte [AG] | tel. 0922945579 | www.morgantevini.it| 7.60 euros

The Morgante family winery is in Grotte, in the Agrigento province. The territory is quite special, with white, calcareous soil rich in skeleton and a microclimate influenced by the nearby sea that during the night mitigates the high temperatures of summer. Nero d’Avola ’15is amazingly pleasant to drink thanks to ripe, meaty fruit sustained by a rich supply of tannin and a lovely finish refreshed by a subtle balsamic vein.

Mosaikon Nero dAvola '16 | Cantine Mothia | via Giovanni Falcone, 22 | Marsala [TP] | tel. 0923737295 | www.cantine-mothia.com| 6.60 euros

Founded at the beginning of the 20th century to collect the grapes produced on the Egadi islands and the area surrounding the Stagnone lagoon, Cantine Mothia was purchased some years ago by the Bonomo family. They are managing its restoration with excellent results. Nero d'Avola Mosaikon ’16has intense and fragrant fruit on the nose laced by fresher herbaceous notes. The palate is fresh and juicy, with acidity that accentuates pleasant drinkability.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Hybla '16 | Cantine Nicosia | via Luigi Capuana, 65 | Trecastagni [CT] | tel. 0957806767 | www.cantinenicosia.it| 9.90 euros

The Nicosia family has been producing wine on Etna for more than a century. Over the last few years it has invested significantly also in the province of Ragusa, the Bonincontro zone, bringing the company vineyards to almost 250 hectares. This Cerasuolo di Vittoria Hybla ’16comes from Bonincontro. It is a decidedly territorial wine, ruby red with garnet highlights and aromas of ripe red fruit, Mediterranean herbs and violets. It is full and well-distributed in the mouth, developing satisfyingly within an elegant tannic frame.

Molino a Vento Nero dAvola '16 | Tenute Orestiadi | v.le Santa Ninfa | Gibellina [TP] | tel. 092469124 | www.tenuteorestiadi.it| 8.40 euros

Ludovico Corrao, the town mayor and untiring force behind the rebirth of the Valle del Belice after the catastrophic earthquake of 1968, brought great Italian artists to Gibellina for its reconstruction, among them Burri, Consagra, Quaroni and Purini. To relaunch a zone destroyed by the quake, he joined together the Fondazione Orestiadi and a peasant cooperative, establishing the Tenute Orestiadi. Molino a Vento ’16is an extremely pleasant wine, with strawberries and cherries on the nose and a fresh, juicy, persistent palate.

Etna Bianco '16 | Planeta | c.da Dispensa | Menfi [AG] | tel. 091327965 | www.planeta.it| 12.90 euros

The Planeta family have lived on their property in Menfi for centuries, and in 1985 they founded the winery that bears their name. They now have six properties, each finding its natural location in the historically best terroirs on the island. Etna Bianco ’16has clear, elegant mineral aromas along with seductive floral notes and fruity tones of peach, loquat and citrus. The palate is fresh and savory, stylistically clean and persistent.

Sicilia Nocera '15 | Planeta | c.da Dispensa | Menfi [AG] | tel. 091327965 | www.planeta.it| 12.90 euros

Nocera is an indigenous Sicilian variety principally found in the Messina province. It is rarely vinified on its own, but normally used in a blend in the Faro and Mamertino DOCs. Planeta's version comes from their Capo Milazzo property, a place of extraordinary beauty and, judging from this Nocera, absolutely suited to wine production. Intense and elegant, Nocera ’15is extraordinarily complex on the nose. The palate is perfectly balanced between acidic tension and the elegance of its fruit.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Cl. Contessa Costanza '14 | Poggio di Bortolone | fraz. Roccazzo | via Bortolone, 19| Chiaramonte Gulfi [RG] | tel. 0932921161 | www.poggiodibortolone.it| 10.80 euros

Pierluigi Cosenza manages the family winery in Chiaramonte Gulfi with passion and professionality. For years he has been among the best interpreters of Cerasuolo, and he dedicates three labels to the variety, always surprising us with his ability to bring even the most complicated harvests to satisfying fruition. Contessa Costanza ’14is deep, ripe and elegant, even in its tannic expression, proving that an excellent territorial wine can emerge in a vintage year that was not easy at all.

Sicilia Bianco Maggiore '16 | Rallo | via Vincenzo Florio, 2 | Marsala [TP] | tel. 0923721633 | www.cantinerallo.it\ 11.40 euros

The hundred or more hectares of organic vineyard belonging to the Rallo winery are in different locations in Alcamo and Trapani. Among the many wines that our Vini d'Italia guide regularly admires, this Bianco Maggiore ’16is surely among those that cost the least. Intense fragrances suggest fresh flowers, almnd and loquat. The palate of the Grillo is notable for the precise and fragrant return of fruit well grafted onto a tonic, vibrant structure.

Bouquet '16 | Tenute Rapitalà | c.da Rapitalà | Camporeale [PA] | tel. 092437233 | www.rapitala.it| 11.90 euro

Radidh Allah, River of Allah in Arabic, was the name of the brook that still today runs by the soft hills of the movingly beautiful landscape between Camporeale and Alcamo where the Rapitalàwinery of Gruppo Italiano Vini is located. This year we particularly noted their delicious Bouquet ’16, a blend of grillo, sauvignon andviognier. It offers delicate floral and herbaceous notes to the nose and is fresh, savory and persistent on the palate.

Marzaiolo '16 | Riofavara | loc. Val di Noto | fraz. c.da Favara | s.da prov.le 49 Ispica-Pachino | Ispica [RG] | tel. 0932705130 | www.riofavara.it| 11.90 euros

Marianta and Massimo Padova devotedly cultivate their 16 hectares of vineyard in Ispica, in the Ragusa province, according to the strict rules of organic agriculture. In the winery itself they use no chemical products nor selected yeasts. A blend of insolia, grecanico andmoscato, Marzaiolo ’16displays mineral and iodine fragrances to the nose along with fruit and yellow flowers. The palate is fresh and savory, making it the ideal partner for Sicily's typical fish dishes.

Mandrarossa Bonera '16 | Cantine Settesoli | s.da st.le 115 | Menfi [AG] | tel. 092577111 | www.cantinesettesoli.it| 11.10 euros

It's certainly nothing new for Berebene to give an award to the Settesoli winery. The truth is that the entire Mandrarossa line is worthy of notice thanks to the wines' excellent price/quality rapport. A blend of nero d’Avola andcabernet franc,Bonera ’16has a beautiful, brilliant, intense ruby color and a nose fragrant with sour cherry, Mediterranean herbs, incense and spices. The palate is solid in its expression of fruit, but well balanced by alcoholic softness that further enhances its already pleasant drinkability.

Perricone Mandrarossa Rosé '16 | Cantine Settesoli | s.da st.le 115 | Menfi [AG] | tel. 092577111 \ www.cantinesettesoli.it| 9.00 euros

This is the Mandrarossa wine that most astonished us. The winery itself is an economic powerhouse, a colossus of European cooperation that brings together 2,300 members and over 6,000 hectares of vineyard. We noted a screwtop closure, fragrances of pomegranate and blueberry, and a light, flavorful palate with an almondy finish. The palate combines fruity substance and freshness with unusual drinkability. Sincere and energetic, the wine is perfect even on its own, perhaps paired with a deck of cards, live music and good company.

Vittoria Frappato Belsito '16 | Terre di Giurfo | via Palestro, 536 | Vittoria [RG] | tel. 0957221551 | www.terredigiurfo.it| 9.20 euros

The labels of this little winery are always pleasing and reliable. The vineyards are in the countryside of Licodia Eubea near the DirilloRiver. Frappato Belsito ’16has a cheerful character. After vinification it ages in stainless steel to best preserve the freshness and fragrance of its fruit. A brilliant purplish ruby color, it offers aromas of peaches, spices and Mediterranean herbs on the nose. A fresh and sturdy palate moves to a pleasantly fruity finish.

Trenta Filari 16 | Torre Favara | via Cannada, 1 | Mazzarino [CL] | tel. 0934384064 | www.torrefavara.com| 7.60 euros

Four generations of Rino Calì's family have produced wine in the Mazzarino countryside. The entire property is run with maximum respect for the environment, limiting treatments to a minimum and using the green manure method to enrich the soil. Trenta Filari ’16is a monovarietal from insolia grapes. It has unusual aromas of grapefruit, fresh almonds and aromatic herbs. The palate corresponds well with the nose, and offers a fine, long, savory finish.

Sicilia Grillo Zagra '16 | Valle dellAcate | c.da Bidini | Acate [RG] | tel. 0932874166 | www.valledellacate.com| 11.10 euros

The production philosophy in the winery of Francesco Ferreri dell'Anguilla and Gaetano Jacono is simply to innovate within tradition, without betraying the terroir. They cultivate 100 hectares of vineyard in Acate in the Ragusa province. Grillo Zagra ’16expresses itself on the nose with notes that suggest yellow fruit and citrus fruits. Instead, the palate is striking for the fine expression of fruit governed by lively acidity that lasts for the entire long finish.

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