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23 July 2013

Italy: whites and reds "of the moment", south & north

Three Sicilian whites, a red from Puglia and one from Trentino to be precise, all hot off the shelf from Marks, Lidl and Asda. I've mentioned a certain fondness for white wines from Sicily before (okay, reds too), especially made from the exciting native variety Grillo. New to both M&S (who now stock more Sicilian wines than any other large retailer I'd guess) and Lidl too, both 2012 vintage and labelled under the sweeping 'Terre Siciliane IGP' zone. Here's my verdict:
2012 Grillo (12.5% abv) - a hint of SO2 on the nose, which goes with airing, delicate yeasty notes vs rich peach and apricot, honeyed and rounded vs crisp and zingy, fat texture vs dry bite, full-bodied vs refreshing. Rounded palate with lingering yeast-lees/SO2 notes, dried apricot, peach and almost toasted/honey-coated almond flavours yet quite steely and 'mineral' really; nice wine in the end. Lidl £5.99
2012 Grillo (13% abv) - hints of Viognier in style with that sweet apricot and honey fruit, but more white peppery and fresher with zesty pear edges, quite crisp acidity vs ripe sunny and rounded. Good stuff. £6.99
And Asda has been promoting the 2012 vintage of its Fiano dry white from Sicily, which I recommended last summer and continue enjoying it every time I buy it, for a fiver I think (as they do: don't know what the 'usual' price is, as I only get it when on promo like the rest of the world!)
Moving east to the other side of southern Italy to the Puglia region, Marks has also taken on a 2012 Negroamaro red (another indigenous variety) at £6.99 (13.5% abv): Nice and fruity with jammy damson and black cherry, spicy earthy edges, ripe rounded and warming with liquorice flavours vs dark chocolate twist.
Heading about as far north north as you can go in Italy, towards the border with Austria, Lidl has taken the fairly brave step of listing a Teroldego Rotaliano from Trentino (you only find this variety there), a 2010 Riserva red (12.5% abv) for £6.99 as well (price-point of the moment obviously): Surprisingly dense with a coating of coco-choc oak (these reds are often on the lighter side and un-oaked), fruity and spicy though with nice smooth tannins giving attractive dry vs ripe profile, peppery and earthy with hints of toasty coconut grain vs dark cherry/berry fruit; quite structured and serious yet drinking nicely now. Developed more liquorice and spice the following day with sweet/savoury fruit, wilder edges vs fairly smooth texture.

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