Island Wine

Southern Italian white table wines have improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade. As in other hot winegrowing regions, temperature control in the cellar is making the difference between wines that smell like nuts and varnish versus fresh fruit and other primary grape aromas.

Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna DOC Costamolino 2006
The smells of sweet fruit and floral notes. The palate is fresh with Viognier-like flavors and a light body. 90% Vermentino, 10% other grapes, all grown in the Costamolino vyd. The site 625 ft elevation, clay soil, SW exposure, yield 3 tons per acre, SS ferm, no oak, partial ml, 2.56 g/l RS 13.5% $14 at Traverso’s

Donnafugata Sicilia IGT Anthilia 2005
The smell of minerals and caramel, perhaps some oxidation and lowish acid, certainly lower than the Argioloas. Donnafugata means fleeing woman, harkening to the story of Queen Maria Carolina fleeing Naples and taking refuge in the Belice Valley of Sicily in 19th century. Bot by Aziende Vitivinicole Donnafugata SRL Contessa Entellina 13% $16.99 at Traverso’s Donnafugata

Feudo Arancio Sicilia IGT Grillo 2005
There is a sense of green herbs and flowers to smell and light bodied wine in the mouth that is fresh and clean. Bot for Feudo Arancio in Sambuca di Sicilia by Nosio in Mezzocorona. 13% importer sample, previous vintages have sold for less than $10 in northern California Feudo Arancio

About RJ

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.
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