1 2014 Credits
2 I nostri vini racchiudono l'essenza della nostra terra. Il sole implacabile, il silenzio arido, l'immensità del cielo sopra le viti. Our wines conserve the essence of our land The relentless sun, the barren silence, the vastness of the sky above the grapevines.
3 Ettari di tempo senza scadenze in cui la cultura e le tradizioni millenarie cadenzano la nostra storia, fatta di uomini e di antichi rituali. Timeless acres in which culture and millenary traditions find the cadence of our history, made of men and ancient rituals.
4 La ripetitività dei gesti, affinati e tramandati in secoli di lavoro, a contatto con la mutevolezza della natura. The repetition of gestures, refined and passed on over centuries of work, in close contact with changing nature.
5 Qui ogni vino è tutto questo. Differente da ogni altro. Here, in our land each wine is all of this. Each one different from the other.
6 2014 ARTICLES, AWARDS, GUIDES
7 DECANTER FEBRUARY
8 STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR MARCH/APRIL The Wines of Southern Italy - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 18/03/14 15:55 The Wines of Southern Italy - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 18/03/14 15:55 LOG OUT MY WINE PORTFOLIO MY ACCOUNT HELP Clearly, Italy's south continues to make outstanding wines, both red and white, such as the many Taurasi and fiano or greco wines; in fact--and make no mistake about it--these are some of Italy's very best wines. For sure, there are few greater Italian reds than Campania's Taurasi or Basilicata's Aglianico del Vulture, when made by competent, conscientious producers. Fiano, from Campania, is probably Italy's single greatest white grape variety, with stellar wines that age surprisingly well. So grab your wine glasses and start your engines: southern Italy has something for everyone. In This Article... Campania Basilicata Puglia Calabria Sicily Sardinia View All Ratings See numerical ratings of all wines reviewed in this article. printable version The Wines of Southern Italy By Ian D'Agata MAR/APR 14 Southern Italy is an increasingly interesting place for wine lovers to visit, virtually or in person. Italy's south has always been home to many great wine buys; and the fact many southern Italian wines are unique and idiosyncratic only adds to the area's attraction. Unfortunately, for the longest time far too many wineries were simply going through the motions, churning out wines that were dirty and unpleasant or already tired and oxidized at time of bottling, particularly the whites. Some producers decades ago chose to plant varieties such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot bianco in what are generally very warm production areas, and that decision only made matters worse. Another problem with the south is that some of the bigger outfits were also just happy to massproduce large volumes of well-made but ultimately boring wines that spoke little about the unique grape varieties growing there. Obviously, sense of place has been even harder to come by. In this light, it is self-explanatory that Sicily has long pushed for a generic Sicilia appellation (or denominazione in Italian), and now there is also the new, large and generic Terre Siciliane appellation. Only an estate like Gulfi steadfastly stuck to analyzing the different crus for nero d'avola by bottling wines from as many as five different vineyards, but encouragingly it appears that some other producers are beginning to bottle single-vineyard nero d'avola wines as well. One final word about scores. Some readers who have extensive experience of outstanding pinot noirs, chardonnays and sauvignon blancs might be skeptical when they see little-known Italian varieties also garnering high scores. Although it is not my intention to suggest, for example, that southern Italian white wines are on a par with great white Burgundies, I do believe that many wines made from lessknown varieties (and not just in Italy) often get the short end of the stick when it comes to wine ratings. In my effort to bring relatively obscure Italian varieties and wines to the attention of wine lovers inside and outside Italy, I take care not to overstate the virtues of varieties that are not capable of making truly distinctive wines. On the other hand, I do make it clear in the tasting notes when and if I see the potential in some of these varieties, and of course many of them do hold out terrific potential. Unlike most wine writers who only visit Italy a couple times a year, I live in Italy and have been tasting wines made from native Italian grapes intensively for the past 15 years. I have a very good idea of what each can and should deliver in the glass. Unfortunately, many of the best wines are made in minuscule quantities by small family domains, and bottles may be hard to find outside of Italy (though the more serious U.S. importers do a remarkable job ferreting out interesting wine estates). The risk is that once a variety becomes popular, many enthusiasts only get to taste versions made by larger, often more industrial producers, the wines of which hardly speak of the varieties involved. So please read my notes carefully because they are your best way of getting to know what these unique and sometimes still-rare grape varieties are capable of delivering. The same considerations apply to the other southern Italian regions. For example, in Basilicata the producers have always been content with a very extensive Aglianico del Vulture denominazione, seemingly without wondering whether the soil from which many Vulture wines are made is really volcanic or not. But it's one thing to produce an aglianico wine from the volcanic slopes of Barile, and quite another from Venosa or Acarenza, two areas that didn't see much lava come their way. Both areas can make outstanding Aglianico del Vultures--and have, over the years--but the wines will be quite different, each with a story to tell. It seems to me that there are good marketing possibilities there to latch onto by creating different types of wines based on diverse geology and microclimates (such as is the case with Margaux and Pauillac, for example), but for the longest time nobody in Italy ever thought along those lines. Happily, there are signs that that mindset is finally starting to change. So, in keeping with the IWC's long tradition of scoring wines sensibly and not throwing around 95+ scores like confetti, many of the wines rated 90 points or higher in this report are worth more than just a look. Already, grape varieties such as fiano and aglianico rank with the best in the world (and are being increasingly planted outside of Italy), and their status will become increasingly apparent as the number of well-made wines from each variety grows. There are many other interesting varieties yet to be discovered. Although these undiscovered wines may show aroma and flavor profiles far removed from what most people are accustomed to, I am confident that many not-yet-household-names will prove their worth in the years ahead. These considerations aside, the fact is that there's lots to cheer in southern Italian wines today. Simply put, beginning with the 21st century, things have never been better. As in Central Italy, never before have we had so many good wines to choose from, and so many exciting new wineries emerging, often powered by 20-something men and women bitten by the wine bug. People are paying greater attention to their local native varieties and finally doing something with them, rather than just planting and using useless (at these latitudes) chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. For example, take Sicily's cataratto bianco, for the longest time the island's most abundantly cultivated grape variety, though now in sharp decline. Only in the last couple of years have producers finally started differentiating between--and bottling separately--the cataratto bianco biotypes, of which there are three well-recognized types. Though we have long known that the lucido and the extra-lucido biotypes are of higher quality than the comune biotype, bottles of wines made with the single biotypes have only recently appeared. I remember asking producers ten years ago why nobody wanted to try their hand at bottling these higher-quality biotypes on their own, if for no other reason than to see whether the wines really were better. But in those sorrier times such suggestions were alien to almost everyone I talked to (and not just in Southern Italy, it should be noted). Simply put, my exhortations about native grapes and their potential importance to the local territory and the financial well-being of wineries always fell on deaf ears. People weren't ready to hear about the potential importance of native grapes, and besides, nobody had enough vines of single biotypes to work with (practically all of the older vineyards had been planted haphazardly with a mix of biotypes). Mercifully, all this appears to be changing, and it's high time. Similarly, a growing number of producers is turning to making better wines from famous denominazioni, such as, for example, Passito di Pantelleria. Another positive example is the rebirth of Malvasia delle Lipari, potentially one of Italy's best sweet wines. Nothing makes me happier than to see estates now making a Malvasia delle Lipari wine from some of the other little islands of that mesmerizingly beautiful archipelago (not just Salina but finally from Vulcano too). Pagina 1 di 2 Pagina 2 di 2
9 STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR MARCH/APRIL Sicily - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 18/03/14 15:42 LOG OUT MY WINE PORTFOLIO MY ACCOUNT HELP In This Article... Arianna Occhipinti Sicily By Ian D'Agata MAR/APR 14 Baglio del Cristo di Campobello Benanti Bonavita Paolo Cali Calcagno Centonze Ceuso Colosi COS Coste Ghirlanda Cottanera Cuppari Curto Cusumano Donnafugata Duca di Salaparuta Ferrandes Tenuta di Fessina Feudo di Santa Tresa Feudo Disisa Feudo Montoni Feudo Principi di Butera Filippo Grasso Frank Cornelissen Girolamo Russo Graci When it comes to wine, Sicily has many merits, and it is one of the very few regions where regional governments (from all across the political spectrum) have done really commendable work in supporting research and providing funds for the improvement of the region's wines. A number of stellar, very serious producers such as Donnafugata, Planeta and Tasca d'almerita also deserve real credit for all they have done on behalf of Sicily and its wines over the decades. However, in the beginning, enthusiasm for many of the wines was actually out of place. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Sicily was the darling of the Italian press, even though its everyday white wines were often just acceptable and the expensive ones hopelessly overoaked. That many wine experts often spoke and wrote highly of local cabernets and chardonnays is also nothing short of laughable. Many highly praised nero d'avola wines made only 20 years ago were rough and tannic, and were often blended with international varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and syrah, making for some of Italy's most uninteresting and thoroughly useless wines. But the good news is that matters have greatly improved over the last ten years, with a bevy of very good whites and reds now being made. Nero d'avola especially has never been better, and I get the feeling when tasting the wines today that a lot less merlot, cabernet and syrah are finding their way into the vats. The wines are purer and truer to type than ever before. Single-vineyard nero d'avola bottlings are also on the rise: extremely high-quality estates such as Gulfi have long taken this route, and there are signs that others are starting to follow suit. Nerello mascalese (a red grape that resembles pinot noir in its perfumed, floral fruits and moderate tannins) and carricante (a white grape that yields riesling-like wines) are two varieties that help to make the Etna region undoubtedly the single biggest success story in Italian wine of the last 20 years. The wines are beautifully made, highly expressive and very distinct; the onus is now on producers to ensure that quality standards remain high. The red grape frappato, typical of the Vittoria region in southeastern Sicily, is also now giving its best wines ever--fresh and floral, almost pungently pinot noir-like. New high-quality estates have sprung up like funghi, and some (Passopisciaro, Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Benanti) rank with Italy's best. Other wineries that have recently garnered attention, like Calcagno and Tenuta di Fessina, are also extremely promising. I am amazed at just how much Sicilian syrahs have improved over the last ten years: this is one international variety with a future here. Although Sicily is characterized by very consistent vintage quality (a little like the warmer parts of California), there are differences worth knowing about. The 2008 vintage was a fairly hot year that produced rich and concentrated wines with good balance. Two thousand nine was a very difficult year due to rains and cool weather during the growing season, but today the best wines are remarkable, almost Burgundian in style. Both 2010 and 2011 are very good, especially the former; both yielded concentrated, structured wines, but the wines of 2010 are marked by higher overall acidity. The wines of 2011 are slightly richer and riper in style. Sicily's white wines are generally fatter and richer in 2011, and livelier and fresher in Gulfi Le Vigne di Eli Mandrarossa Marabino Marco de Bartoli Ottoventi Passopisciaro Planeta Pupillo Rapitalà Pagina 1 di 2
10 STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 2014 MARCH-APRIL NEW RATINGS 2012 Gulfi Valcanzjria Sicilia I.G.T. Bianco. Number score: Gulfi Carjcanti Sicilia I.G.T. Bianco. Number score: 89 (+?) 2012 Gulfi Rossojbleo Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 90 (+?) 2012 Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria D.O.C.G. Number score: Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: Gulfi Nero d'avola NeroSanlorè Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 92 (+?) 2008 Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 93 (+?) 2007 Gulfi Reseca Sicilia I.G.T. Rosso. Number score: 91
11 2012 Gulfi Valcanzjria Sicilia I.G.T. Bianco. Number score: 88
12 2011 Gulfi Carjcanti Sicilia I.G.T. Bianco. Number score: 89 (+?)
13 2012 Gulfi Rossojbleo Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 90 (+?)
14 2012 Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria D.O.C.G. Number score: 93
15 2009 Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 92
16 2009 Gulfi Nero d'avola NeroSanlorè Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 91
17 2009 Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 92 (+?)
18 2008 Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 94
19 2008 Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Sicilia I.G.T. Nero d'avola. Number score: 93 (+?)
20 2007 Gulfi Reseca Sicilia I.G.T. Rosso. Number score: 91
21 WINE SPECTATOR. NERO MACCARJ 2008 GULFI: 91/100
24 LE GUIDE DELL'ESPRESSO - I VINI D'ITALIA CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA 2012 GULFI: VINO DELL'ECCELLENZA (18)
25 WINE OF SICILY / VINI DI SICILIA 2014 IL GIORNALE DI SICILIA. NERO MACCARJ 2009 GULFI: CINQUE STELLE Miglior vino rosso di sicilia THE BEST RED WINE OF SICILY
26 SLOW WINE CARJCANTI 2011 GULFI: VINO SLOW
27 VINI BUONI D'ITALIA GULFI SICILIA IGT ROSSO NEROBUFALEFFJ 2008: VINO DELLA CORONA
28 GO WINE - CANTINE D'ITALIA DUE IMPRONTE L'impronta è una sorta di segno ideale che Go Wine assegna a quelle aziende che si distinguono nei tre valori "stellati" presenti sulla Guida: sito, accoglienza e profilo produttivo. L Impronta Go Wine - ovvero le aziende "premiate" dall Associazione per il loro valore enoturistico - identifica quelle cantine (e dunque quei luoghi del vino italiano) assolutamente "da percorrere e conoscere". The footprint is a sort of ideal sign that Go Wine awards to companies which differ in the three values "starred" found on the guide: website, reception quality and production profile. Impronta Go Wine - such as those companies "Rewarded" by the Association for their enoturistic value - identifies those wineries absolutely "to go to and discover."