Island Blends

Planeta Sicilia IGT La Segreta Rosso 2006
Black fruits, mintiness and a moderate amount of extract and some light structure make this an easy drink. 50% Nero d’Avola, 25% Merlot, 20% Syrah and 5% Cab Franc grown at 100-250 metres, 9 tonnes per hectare, vertical trellis, all stainless, estate bot in Menfi (AG) 13% $15 at Traverso’s

Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOC 2004
Brett galore! 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato aged in tank and barrel for 12 months. The wine region, along the southeast coast of Sicily, has since been upgraded to DOCG. The estate is run by Gaetana Jacano; the wine is estate bottled in Acate 13.5% $23 at Traverso’s  Valle dell’Acate

Agricola Punica Isola dei Nuraghi IGT Barrua 2003
This vintage smells of chocolate, mint and Bordeaux green characters.  There is minerality, quite a bit of tannin, a moderate amount of acid and lots of extract.  The previous vintage was quite modern with integrated oak; it was a bit more sleek with polished tannins. Perhaps the current structure will soften with some more time in bottle.

The vineyards are located in the sw corner of the island in the Sulcis Meridionale, within the DOC of Carignano del Sulcis Bot by Punica S.p.A. Santadi 14% $49.95 at Traverso’s for the previous vintage, this bottle was an importer sample. The 2002 spent 18 mos. in Allier barriques, 1/3 new, 1/3 one year and 1/3 two year and was composed of 85% Carignane, 10% Cab Sauv. 5% Merlot, unfined and unfiltered, aged 12 mos in bottle. Agricola Punica is a joint venture founded in 2002 among five entities: Dottore Sebastiano Rosa, the Cantina Sociale di Santadi, the Tenuta San Guido, Giacomo Tachis and Antonello Pilloni. Sebastiano Rosa, oenologist and winemaker at Tenuta San Guido since 2000, and Santadi, the highly respected Sardinian cooperative, represent the majority ownership, with forty percent of the venture each. Tenuta San Guido, under the direction of Marchese Nicoló Incisa della Rocchetta, holds ten percent, with legendary consulting oenologist Giacomo Tachis and Santadi president Antonello Pilloni equally sharing the remaining ten percent.

The venture is owner of a 370 acre estate divided between two sites: Barrua and Narcao, located near the eponymous towns. The Barrua vineyard lies inland from the coast and is planted to 25 acres of old, bush trained Carignane vines and 50 acres of new Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines. Soils are primarily clay mixed with some sand. The Narcao vineyard lies roughly four miles north and a little west of Barrua, slightly further inland.

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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