The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 30 of 124

30 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2017 THE PLANETA WINES FIRST came to my notice in the late 1990s at a tasting in London. I had visited the Tasca d'Almeirita estates with L'Académie Internationale du Vin back in 1982, but to me Sicily was pretty much a closed book. From that introduc - tion, what I tasted on Planeta's home ground o ver two days in early April was both a revelation as to the breadth and a confirmation of the truly Sicilian character of the entire range. Planeta is an ancient family of Spanish origin, a leader of and contributor to Sicilian agriculture for many generations. Diego Planeta founded the company on their Ulmo estate in 1995, and today they own 370 hectares with wineries across six different regions: Ulmo at Sambucca in Sicilia, Dispensa at Menfi, Dorilli at Vittori, Buonivini at Noto, Feudo di Mezzo on Etna and La Baronia at Capo Milazzo. And then there is the "green gold," the extra virgin olive oil produced in the oasis of Capparrina behind the beaches of Menfi, which is best tasted at Planeta La Foresteria, the calmly luxurious hotel/restau - rant that overlooks the vineyards at Menfi that flow down to the sea. This is where my wife and two friends stayed and we will be back as soon as possible. Cousins Alessio and Francesca Planeta I have met often at tastings around the world, but they were busy preparing for Vinitaly, so Chiara and Vito, two other cous - ins, took care of us and the tasting below was prepared b y their brilliant Hungarian winemaker Patricia Tóth. WHITE Brut Metodo Classico, DOC Sicilia Feudo di Mezzo A 100% Carricante from the slopes of Etna; light gold in colour with quite rich flavours but, thanks to a low 5% dosage, a lifted dry finish. 16.75/89 La Segreta 2016, DOC Sicilia Dispensa; 100% Grillo; 13% Floral, citrusy fruit, slight dry herb flavours, clean dry finish. 16.75/89 La Segreta 2016 Il Bianco, DOC Sicilia Dispensa; 50% Grecanico, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Fiano, 10% Vigonier; 13% Fine lemon/pale, more floral than the Grillo, more aroma and weight, good length and potential complexity; admirable quality for a production of 600,000 bottles. 17/90 Cometa 2015, DOC Sicilia Dispensa; 100% Fiano vinified and aged in stainless steel; 14% Fullish lemon yellow, both floral and rich; a beautiful expression of Fiano, more "femi - nine" than from Puglia, lovely dry finish. 17/90 Moscato Bianco 2016, DOC Noto Buonivini, 13.5% Fresh and pale, lovely light Moscato nose, with purity, length and more weight than expected, bone-dry finish. 17/90 Etna Bianco 2015, DOC Etna Feudo di Mezzo; 100% Carricante vinified 15% in barrel; 13.5% Light yellow, some citrusy fruit with dry herbs and almonds on the nose, yellow fruits on the palate, stony-minerally finish from volcanic soil. 17/90 Eruzione 1614 2105, DOC Sicilia Feudo di Mezzo; 90% Carricante, 10% Riesling from vines at 800 meters, 13% More depth and more grip, very fine and expressive, quite ripe with a stony/salty fin - ish; a really good wine from terroir to cellar to glass. 17.5/92 RED La Segreta 2016, DOC Sicilia Dispensa; 100% Nero d'Avola, 13.5% Bright young red, spicy/fruity nose, fresh and briary on the palate, clean lifted finish, nice acidity. 16.75/89 La Segreta 2015 Il Rosso, DOC Sicilia Dispensa; 50% Nero d'Avola, 25% Merlot, 20% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Franc; 13% Good fruit and the blend is more serious, showing lovely smoothness of texture with terroir and charm. 17/90 Frappato 2015, DOC Vittoria Dorilli; 13% From vines two kilometres from the sea, half sandy, half rock/clay soil. Lightish red, lovely summer fruits nose, strawberries and a touch smoky, mouth-watering acidity, a perfect summer barbecue wine. 17/90 Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2015, DOCG Cerasuolo di Vittoria Dorilli; 60% Nero d'Avola, 40% Frappato; 13% Good, quite deep red, deep and smooth red fruits on nose and palate, a fine and natural reflection of region and grape vari - eties; will age well. 17.5/92 Etna Rosso 2015, DOC Etna Feudo di Mezzo; 100% Nerello Mascalese; 13% Fine Pinot Noir red, floral, delicate yet firm flavours, precise yet ripe, combines fragrance and depth. 17/90 Eruzione 1614 2014, DOC Sicilia Feudo di Mezzo; 100% Nerello Mascalese; 14% Deeper colour, wonderful nose with really stunning depth of fruit, natural vigour and depth; will age well. 17.5/92 Mamertino 2015, DOC Sicilia La Baronia; 70% Nero d'Avola, 30% Nocera; 13% Near the sea, clean and fresh, lifted fruit with a floral/stony finish, a red wine for fish. 17/90 Santa Cecilia 2013, DOC Noto Buonvini; 100% Nero d'Avola on pale calcare - ous soil; 13.5% Black fr uits nose with spice, warmth and depth, silky texture, very good. 17.5/92 Planeta is imported to the U.S. by Palm Bay International. Pioneers in Sicily THE BROAD PLANETA PORTFOLIO SHOWS TRUE SICILIAN CHARACTER by Steven Spurrier PHOTO COURTESY OF PLANETA { steven spurrier's letter from london }

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