Unchartered Italy: Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily

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Planeta 2010

10. Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily

The ‘G’ in DOCG guarantees a whole raft of quality factors in a wine, but not, as the case of Cerasuolo di Vittoria demonstrates, increased visibility. Sicily’s first and to date only DOCG has somehow been overlooked. Cerasuolo does not have the jammy fruit and chewy textures of the international-style reds invented in the 1990s, nor does it have the headline-grabbing attention of Etna wines, with their celebrity owners and old bush vines. Yet the wines from this less-fashionable southeast corner of the island have a unity and authenticity that make them a true reflection of their terroir – one which, perhaps surprisingly given the baking hot climate, expresses aroma and an exhilarating dry intensity rather than weight and power. Nero d’Avola gives the tannins and the earthiness and Frappato adds the floral aromas and juiciness. Look for a palish shade, medium bodied drinkability, huge scope for spot-the-aroma discussions (some tasters even pick out a suggestion of anchovies) and a distinctly salty character in the finish.

Cos, Classico 2009

Big, fragrant nose ranging from red fruits through floral-spicy to wild herbs and tobacco leaf with a note of peatiness at the back. Dry, firm and irresistibly more-ish on the palate with a return of the spicy floral character and a long savoury finish. 18.5pts/20
Price: £16.95–£18.49 Bat & Bottle, Buon Vino, Green & Blue, Noble Green, Swig
Drink: 2012–2014
Alc: 13%

Planeta 2010 

Sweet cherry nose with hints of cinnamon. Distinctly dry, tannic palate with a pure varietal notes of savoury herbs and bitter chocolate and a mouthwatering touch of sour plum. Intense salty finish. 17pts/20
Price: £9.99 Cambridge Wine, Enotria, Luvians, Noel Young, Selfridges, Swig
Drink: 2012–2013
Alc: 13%

Other recommended producers:
Avide, Gulfi, Occhipinti, Valle dell’Acate

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