Sicilian Red Wines that are simply perfect for the holidays

Nero d'Avola, Nerello, Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Frappato, Nocera, Perricone and Syrah in a wonderful selection of red wines

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Vini Rossi Siciliani per rendere preziosa la tavola delle feste winerytastingsicily
Vini Rossi Siciliani per rendere preziosa la tavola delle feste winerytastingsicily

Winery Tasting Sicily, to celebrate Christmas 2021 and the New Year, presents 16 Sicilian Noble Red Wines that we tasted during this year’s winery visits.

Red wines with that wonderful bouquet of Sicily, warming up the holidays.

Red wines that renew tradition and honor the island’s native vines.

Red wines to be slowly enjoyed together with family and friends.

Presented as the pair of “grape variety and wine”, simply make your choice and we are sure you’ll fall in love with them.

His Excellency Nero d’Avola

EIMI 2016 di Tenute Lombardo DOC Sicilia

EIMI 2016 from Tenute Lombardo, a company from Caltanisetta, has recently been awarded at the Mondial des Vins Extrêmes Competition, with this Nero d’Avola Doc Sicilia for the production of the best Italian red wine.  EIMI, from the Greek I am, arises in the countryside of Caltanissetta at 580 meters above sea level in clay, calcareous soil, from the selection of Nero d’Avola grapes and from careful steps and approaches in red winemaking. A wine aged in barrique and with a strong personality that presents itself to the eye with an intense purple color, to the nose with notes of aromatic herbs, black pepper and chocolate and to the sip with a full, velvety and persistent taste.  With a serving temperature of 18° C., this elegant wine goes well with red meats and aged cheeses. For the holidays, roast pork with plums, or glazed rump, are possible pairings to try.

EIMI di Tenute Lombardo 2016 DOC Sicilia winerytastingsicily
EIMI di Tenute Lombardo 2016 DOC Sicilia

Helios Nero d’Avola 2019 Di Giovanna DOC Sicilia

Helios Nero d’Avola “Di Giovanna” Sicily DOC, this blend of Nero d’Avola with Syrah is the finest expression of Contessa Entellina’s Paradiso vineyard. Helios is an elegant wine, aged nine months in French oak tonneaux, which stands out well for its silky, round character and for the finesse of the tannins. This is an important wine that the brothers Gunther and Klaus Di Giovanna dedicated to their father, Aurelio, a pioneer in the 1980s of the viticultural revolution of the Terre Sicane terroir. Upon visual analysis, Helios Nero d’Avola shows an intense ruby red color. The nose is a wonder of red and black fruits, earthy notes and hints of purple flowers that fall into perfect harmony with sweet notes of spices and chocolate. In the mouth, this wine is firm and pleasant, with velvety tannins on a long and persistent finish. This wine can be paired with beef stew, cured meats and parmesan. For the holidays, a great idea could also be roast duck breast with porcini mushrooms.

Helios Nero d’Avola Di Giovanna 2019 DOC Sicilia winerytastingsicily
Helios 2019 Nero d’Avola Di Giovanna DOC Sicilia

His Eminence Nerello Mascalese.

Vinupetra 2019 I Vigneri Etna Rosso DOC

Vinupetra 2019 of the company I Vigneri, Salvo Foti. Vinupetra in Sicilian means wine produced in a soil full of stones, precisely that of Vigna Calderara, located on the north side of Etna in the Contrada Feudo di Mezzo in Castiglione di Sicilia. Nerello Mascalese 80%, Nerello Cappuccio 10%, Granache, Francisi 10% give life to this legendary Rosso DOC Etna Red wine. The cultivation of the vineyard, mostly centenary, is done by hand using natural products. Once fully ripe, the grapes are macerated for about three weeks and the vinification takes place in large wooden barrels. Vinupetra then ages for one year in oak barriques and refines in the bottle for another ten months. A “human wine”, produced with respect for man and the environment according to the philosophy of the Maestranza de I Vigneri, meaning native Etna winemakers and grapegrowers. With a brilliant ruby red color, Vinupetra expresses all its class on the nose with refined fruity and floral notes. On the palate, this wine is full, with velvety and persistent tannins. To be paired with tagliatelle with Nebrodi Black pork sauce, or erb cheeses, grilled meat and stewed meat. Salvo Foti recommends pairing this wine with “a iaddina china”, or Ragusan-style stuffed chicken.

Vinupetra I Vigneri 2018 Etna Rosso DOC
Vinupetra I Vigneri 2018 Etna Rosso DOC

Contrada Monte Gorna Vecchie Viti 2015 Cantine Nicosia Etna Rosso DOC

Great complexity for this Riserva Etna Rosso DOC which arises at high altitude on the steep slopes of the ancient vineyard of Monte Gorna, one of the extinct volcanic cones that surround the village of Trecastagni. A wonderful Nerello Mascalese in purity which ages for four years in the cellar, refining in used French oak barriques for 24 months. This red wine is elegant and complex, with a marked minerality and a broad aromatic profile. On the nose the aromas of undergrowth, morello cherry, dog rose, flowers and dried fruits evolve in the glass into elegant hints of graphite and flint. On the palate it is structured, balanced and with a long persistence. This wine perfectly pairs with tagliatelle with mushrooms, medium-long aged cheeses, black pork sausage, and white meat ragù. For the holidays, we could accompany it with roasted pheasant with porcini mushrooms. 

Contrada Monte Gorna Vecchie Viti 2015 Cantine Nicosia Etna Rosso DOC
Contrada Monte Gorna Vecchie Viti 2015 Cantine Nicosia Etna Rosso DOC

Riserva Contrada Zottorinoto 2016 Cottanera Etna Rosso DOC

Etna Rosso DOC Riserva Contrada Zottorinoto 2016 is a single varietal Nerello Mascalese wine that well expresses the identity of the Cottanera company. The grapes are the result of strong vines, about 70 years old, which have their roots in the lava soil of Contrada Zottorinoto on the northern side of the volcano, in the territory of Solicchiata, at an altitude of over 750 meters. After 24 months of aging in large French oak barrels and another 24 in the bottle, this red fully expresses the freshness and structure of Nerello Mascalese. An intense and deep Etna Rosso, with numerous and well-deserved awards, this wine is produced with affection and attention, in limited quantities, by the Cottanera company. A true Etna Rosso DOC which, with its beautiful ruby red color, invites the nose to the glass to enjoy floral and fruity scents that harmonize with those of black tea and vanilla. On the palate, it is velvety, with elegant tannins, with beautifully persistent sapidity. This wine pairs nicely with wild game, pasta with meat sauce, aged cheeses, as well as mushroom and truffle dishes. For the holidays, we suggest the low temperature cooked cappello di prete roast with sweet potatoes.

Riserva Contrada Zottorinoto 2016 Cottanera Etna Rosso DOC
Riserva Contrada Zottorinoto 2016 Cottanera Etna Rosso DOC

The illustrious Perricone           

Granmassenti 2018 Feudo Disisa DOC Monreale

Feudo DiSisa Granmassenti 2018. Perricone DOC Monreale is produced by the Disisa Agricultural Company, which with its 400 hectares falls within the DOC Alcamo and DOC Monreale area, in the province of Palermo. The Granmassenti wine, as the label describes, takes its name from the ancient legend that tells of a hidden treasure in the cave of the Disisa fiefdom. In reality, this Perricone is already a treasure in itself, the expression of a rich terroir and an indigenous black grape variety that when vinified alone. This red wine offers fantastic emotions, with a beautiful ruby hue, a fine and harmonious nose with fruity notes of raspberries, pomegranate, cinchona and licorice. The sip is intense, full-bodied and persistent. To be served at 18° C and left to settle for about an hour, it can elegantly accompany aged cheeses, legume soups, braised meats and roasts but also a nice plate of baked pasta typical of the holidays, such as anelletti al forno alla Palermitana, a baked pasta dish from Palermo.

Granmassenti 2018 Feudo Disisa DOC Monreale
Granmassenti 2018 Feudo Disisa DOC Monreale

Precious Nocera

Mastronicola Nocera 2015 Cambria Vini DOC Sicilia    

Mastronicola, Gran Cru of the Furnaresi Hills 2015. This noble variety, albeit forgotten for a great deal of time, was rediscovered by Nino Cambria.  In fact, he was renamed the father of Nocera grape, having replanted with the same clone from over 2000 years ago, making it possible for all of us to taste the precious red grape variety so loved by Julius Caesar. The Nocera grape is particularly aromatic, recognizable by its berries with thick and dark skins, tending towards blue, and is expressed with power but also sweetness. The Mastronicola wine, with expert winemaking and careful aging in French oak barrels, enhances the scent of the grapes and is characterized by softness. With a rich bouquet of fruit, spicy notes, balsamic notes, undergrowth conquers the nose, while our eyes are fascinated by its color that appears almost purple. In the mouth, the important structure of Nocera is in perfect harmony with sensations of roundness that make it balanced and with a long persistence. To be combined with aged cheeses and grilled red meats, but also with first courses with meat sauce such as pasta ‘ncasciata alla messinese, a dish from the area of Messina.

Mastronicola Nocera 2015 Cambria Vini DOC Sicilia                
Mastronicola Nocera 2015 Cambria Vini DOC Sicilia                

Maestro Nocera 2018 Enza La Fauci IGT Terre Siciliane

Nocera, a native red grape of Sicily, whose origins date back to the first Greek colonies of the 7th century BCE, is mainly present in the province of Messina. The Maestro, the true master,of Tenuta Enza La Fauci is a pure Nocera, double spurred cordon trained, in a clay soil mixed with limestone, near Capo Peloro, the extreme north-eastern point of Sicily. In this wonderful landscape, sirocco and north winds blow, winter rainfall is abundant and summer is sunny. This unicum is enhanced by the naturalness of Enza’s wines. Maestro, with a ruby ​​red color, is the full expression of the characteristics of this terroir. We find that essence, starting from the earth and crossing the vine, perfectly expressed in the grape. The bouquet is rich and conquers the nose with particular hints of mentholated, eucalyptus, licorice. On the palate the wine is sapid, mineral and persistent. An excellent Nocera to be paired with cheeses, meats and especially with baked, grilled and crusted white-fish fillets.

Maestro Nocera 2018 Enza La Fauci IGT Terre Siciliane

The excellence of Frappato 

Belsito 2020 Frappato Terre di Giurfo DOC Vittoria

Belsito Frappato DOC Vittoria 2020 of the Terre di Giurfo Estate in the Ragusa area. Single-varietal and aged in steel, this wine enhances the characteristics of the Frappato vine by releasing the typical aromas of red berried fruits, even more present thanks to the favorable exposure of the estate’s vineyards. Frappato likely means fruity, unmistakable is in fact the bouquet of this wine that conquers not only with its hints of red and black fruits, yet also with those of citrus and with light balsamic notes. Belsito has a pale ruby red color, fresh, balanced and long persistence in the mouth. Its drinkable nature makes it a versatile wine that goes very well with appetizers, fish soup, couscous, and even sushi, Ragusa cheeses, balanced first courses, lasagna and pizza as well. During the holidays, there will certainly be an opportunity to taste this fine Frappato.

Belsito Frappato Terre di Giurfo 2020 DOC Vittoria
Belsito Frappato Terre di Giurfo 2020 DOC Vittoria

Frappato 2018 di Tenuta Valle delle Ferle DOC Vittoria

Frappato DOC Vittoria 2018 from Valle delle Ferle estate, a company located between Caltagirone and Niscemi within the Cerasuolo di Vittoria area. A beautiful estate, of about ten hectares, to which the young engineers Claudia and Andrea, have given a new identity while respecting this terroir and its traditions. With organic farming, thee ancient “married” vineyards of Nero d’Avola and Frappato are now enhanced in a soil of alluvial origin, predominantly sandy clayey of medium texture, rich in skeleton, where wind and thermal changes ensure elegant grapes. This elegance comes shining through in the  Vittoria Frappato 2018, with a lively ruby red color, expressed with aromas of red fruits, ripe cherries and blackberries, licorice aromas and hints of violet. A fresh wine, even persistent and with a good balance. This velvety Frappato goes well with vegetable-based first courses, fresh cheeses, white fish, lamb chops but also more flavorful dishes or with tomatoes. For Christmas Eve we could pair it with sarde a beccafico (stuffed sardines) or pan-seared tuna.

Frappato 2018 di Tenuta Valle delle Ferle DOC Vittoria
Frappato 2018 di Tenuta Valle delle Ferle DOC Vittoria

Eminent Cerasuolo di Vittoria 

Iri da Iri 2014 Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Classico

Iri da Iri – Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Classico 2014, is the full expression of a single vineyard of the plateau called “Bidine Soprano”, Acate (Ragusa), at about 200 meters above sea level, with sandy soil and a characteristic red-orange color. Produced by the Valle dell’Acate winery, this wine is definned by structure, complexity and interesting “balsamic” scents. Racked and aged in 500-liter tonneaux for 36 months, bottled in November 2016 and aged in the bottle for at least 18 months, Iri da Iri is the pride of the producer Gaetana Jacono. With a bright ruby color, this Cerasuolo expresses its uniqueness with aromas of red and black fruits, aromas of pepper and cinnamon, and notes of menthol. On the palate, this wine is enveloping, round, with tightly woven tannins, long and persistent finish. For pairinng, in addition to the traditional Nebrodi pork, we might suggest pumpkin tagliatelle and sweet bacon pancetta.

Iri da Iri 2014 Valle dell'Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Classico
Iri da Iri 2014 Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Classico

Victorya 1607 2019 Casa Grazia Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG

Victorya 1607, a wonderful homage from the company Casa Grazia to Vittoria Colonna, an admirer of wine, which ideally could represent the feminine strength of this Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2019. This is a wine that combines the elegance of Frappato and the intensity of Nero D’Avola. The lands of the vineyards is a sandy terroir of Lake Biviere, the wine is a Sicilian red that pays homage to one of the most important denominations of Sicily. An intense and enveloping Cerasuolo di Vittoria with a ruby red color, rich in hints of fresh red fruit and floral notes of roses and violets. Tasting of Victorya 1607 offers a soft and sweet tannic texture, good body and persistence. Perfect to pair with timbale, red meats, chicken, sheep cheeses, amberjack tuna, high-quality fish cooked in the oven and even a nice marinara pizza.

Victorya 1607 2019 Casa Grazia Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG
Victorya 1607 2019 Casa Grazia Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG

Lusirà Syrah 2018 Baglio del Cristo di Campobello DOC Sicilia

Lusirà 2018 Syrah DOC Sicilia of the company Baglio del Cristo di Campobello. Elegant and enveloping, this Syrah is quite intriguing thanks to the aromatic complexity arising from this particular terroir, chalky mixed with limestone, but also to the hilly microclimate, the sea breeze and the temperature variations typical of this area of Campobello di Licata. The wine ages for 14 months in French barriques and completes the refinement period with at least 12 months in the bottle before expressing all its rich bouquet of ripe blackberries, red fruit and Mediterranean scrub. On the palate, this wine is decisive, structured and mineral, with spicy aromas at the end. An intense yet also fresh wine, it goes well with a cut of beef but also escalopes with mushrooms, aged cheeses, game. Let it breathe while you prepare your favorite dish and it will make your festive menu simply perfect.

Lusirà Syrah 2018 Baglio del Cristo di Campobello DOC Sicilia
Lusirà Syrah 2018 Baglio del Cristo di Campobello DOC Sicilia

MNRL Syrah 2016 Vigna di Mandranova Alessandro di Camporeale DOC Sicilia

This excellent red wine comes from a single vineyard of almost one hectare, with clay soil, facing north-east at an altitude of about 360 meters above sea level. In this hilly vineyard of the Mandranova plain, kissed by the sun only in the early hours of the day and the right amount of wind, the Syrah grapes of MNRL (Monreale) express all their richness. Aging in French oak for 14 months and then in the bottle for at least 6 months enrich the wine with complex and elegant aromas, gentle spiciness and intense aromas of juniper, rhubarb and licorice. The palate is velvety, decisive but also fresh and slightly savory at the end. This elegant wine offers a ruby red color and goes well with cured meats and aged cheeses, grilled or stewed red meats, stews, and wild game birds. For the holidays, we recommend it with the tasty falsomagro.

MNRL Syrah 2016 Vigna di Mandranova Alessandro di Camporeale DOC Sicilia

Nobilissimus Nerello Cappuccio

Nerello Cappuccio 2019 Benanti Terre Siciliane IGT

A variety that has been cultivated on Mt. Etna for centuries, Nerello Cappuccio has only recently been rediscovered as a single-varietal wine, such as this Terre Siciliane IGT Rosso by Benanti Viticoltori. The grapes of this elegant wine grow in the vineyard in Contrada Cavaliere, on the south-west sloes of the volcano, within the territory of the Municipality of Santa Maria di Licodia, and have their roots in a sandy, volcanic soil, rich in minerals and of skeleton. The wine ages only in steel for about 12 months, before a further refinement in the bottle for about 6 months, maintaining its delicate herbaceous and red fruit notes on the nose. On the palate, this wine is not very tannic, yet it is beautifully dry, mineral and with a good persistence. A versatile wine to combine with red meats, first courses, aged cheeses and also with elaborate fish-based dishes. Beef Wellington with a side of roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables is the Christmas dish we recommend.

Nerello Cappuccio 2019 Benanti Terre Siciliane IGT
Nerello Cappuccio 2019 Benanti Terre Siciliane IGT

Don Tindaro 2018 Gaglio Vignaioli Mamertino Rosso DOC

Don Tindaro 2018 Mamertino DOC is produced by the winery Gaglio Vignaioli. This wine from the Messina coast boasts ancient origins that date back to the time of the Mamertines who produced it in Milazzo. Described by Pliny and loved by Julius Caesar in the celebratory banquets of his victories, this red wine is born from the union of two Sicilian indigenous varieties: Nero d’Avola and Nocera. The Mamertino DOC Don Tindaro is a tribute to the memory of the original founder of Gaglio Vignaioli. It is produced in Oliveri on the hills kissed by the sea, Scala di Patti, in a medium-textured calcareous soil. After eight days of maceration on the skins and malolactic fermentation in steel, the winne ages for eight months in the bottle. The wine is intense, ruby red in color and expresses intense notes of wild berries and spice aromas on the nose. On the palate it is balanced and with balanced tannins. We can combine it with elaborate dishes such as first courses seasoned with meat sauce and second courses of red meats, both boiled and grilled. For the holidays, the traditional Messina-style meat rolls, involtini, are simply a must.

Don Tindaro 2018 Gaglio Vignaioli Mamertino Rosso DOC
Don Tindaro 2018 Gaglio Vignaioli Mamertino Rosso DOC

With this selection of fine Sicilian red wine, we would take the opportunity to wish all of you HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

If you would like to have additional information on Sicilian red wines, kindly fill out the following form.

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