Home Winners > Winners 2016 > ITALY: South Reds, including Sicily & Sardinia

Winner Details

Italy: South - Red, including Sicily & Sardinia

2016 Gold: 1 Silver: 11 Bronze: 14 Commended: 11
2015 Gold: 4 Silver: 12 Bronze: 4 Commended: 7

A bit of a game of two halves here, Brian. The southern mainland wines played a muscular tannin-and-alcohol-fuelled game rather reminiscent of a gang of chippy 1950s Liverpudlian kids booting a can around the streets of Toxteth. Plenty of energy, in other words, but not a lot of finesse. And, often, too much oak.

From the islands, our tasters might have expected more of the same, but were actually surprised to find wines that were balanced, lifted and at times even poetic. In football commentator cliché, they ‘had a good touch for a big man’.

All of which explains why two-thirds of our Gold and Silver medals here went to Sicily or Sardinia. But if you’re looking for value for money, take a look at the Bronzes, too. There are some really good sub-£8 wines of real character in there.


‘The Sicilian and Sardinian flights were delicious in the two extremes. Very good value at the beginning, while the top end had a powerful focus. Sardinia has a huge role to play in Old World style. And if I knew what the last two were, I’d list them.’ Tanguy Martin, La Trompette

‘When it comes to the more expensive wines, they need to get it spot on or the prices can’t be justified.’ Tobias Brauweiler MS, Hakkasan Group

‘Quality was very high. The Sicilian and Sardinian wines was one of the best flights so far – and we’re talking about obscure grape varieties. None showed that warm alcoholic finish, and there was no reacidification.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘The wines from the South were too sweet, too rounded and too rich for me – no delicacy. I was expecting more elegance from Italian wines. Plus they were very expensive and would be hard to sell at those prices.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

‘I really enjoyed the quality of the primary fruit in the Sicilian wines. They were all very clean, with well-integrated alcohol and fresh acidity. Grippy but not too hard in tannin, so good with food, and there’s enough concentration.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Collection

“Overall the Sicilian and Sardinian wines had good balance and some had a floral style – they were quite delicate. You could even try matching them with monkfish.” Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

‘Finding delicacy and complexity from the South was difficult.’ Devon Pryor, Blandford Comptoir

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Campania, Puglia, Basilicata & Calabria.

Award winners

Found 19 wines

Italy: South – Red, including Sicily & Sardinia

Pala, I Fiori, Cannonau 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Gold medal winner

Perfume, power and balance took Pala to the top. 'Smoky notes mix with floral aromas on the nose, leading to a palate with sinewy tannins and a long finish,' explained team leader Natasha Hughes MW. Jez Manterfield of The White Horse on Parson's Green noted 'espresso, oak and powerful black cherry notes', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering said: 'Rich, savoury character with great warmth and real depth in intensity of flavour. This needs some big spicy food.'

£8.65 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Argiolas, Turriga, Isola dei Nuraghi 2011, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Great wine, showing brettanomyces but acting to enhance the complexity, with savoury and bacon notes and great length,' said team leader Olivier Marie, with Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant concluding: 'Silky, seductive and delicious.'

£32.20 Eurowines

Planeta, Dorilli, Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2013, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Olivier Marie liked this wine's 'rounded and juicy style', noting its 'volcanic, earthy minerality', with Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte adding: 'Bright cherry fruit, some sage brush and floral notes.'

£10.16 Enotria&Coe

Cusumano, Sàgana, Nero d'Avola 2013, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Very lifted with floral aromatics, but dense fruit on the palate,' began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, adding: 'Attractive, if a hand-sell.' Stefano Pirondi of Bread Street Kitchen highlighted its 'overripe, dark cherry and liquorice fruits'.

£17.40 Eurowines

Terrazze dell'Etna, Cratere 2011, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group found plenty of 'dark cherry, plum and red fruits with tight tannins', while team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted 'lovely juicy red fruit, freshness and a delightful finish'.

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Tasca, Rosso del Conte 2011, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Massive concentration and density,' began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, with Tanguy Martin of La Trompette adding: 'Clean, ripe and minty, with super focus and huge potential,' and team leader Natasha Hughes MW saying: 'Fresh and complex – lots of personality.'

£29.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Caruso & Minini, Terre di Giumara, Frappato/Nerello Mascalese 2014, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A classic foodie wine at the price,' began Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, continuing: 'Lively, plummy fruit character, well-balanced acidity and a touch of bitterness on the finish.' 'Good balanced structure,' agreed Hakkasan Group's Tobias Brauweiler MS.

£6.84 Bibendum

Minini, Legato, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Aurélien Constant of Galvin La Chapelle enjoyed its 'clean, elegant nose and intense, fresh, well-balanced and long palate', while team leader Olivier Marie put it simply: 'Clean, juicy, varietally expressive, lovely and well-balanced wine.'

£5.81 Bibendum

Planeta, Etna Rosso 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Quite pale red in colour with pink hues. Light, red cherry and berry nose with fresh, leafy notes. Fairly dry on the palate, plenty of tannin but it's soft and not intrusive. Nice juicy red fruit on the finish.

£11.92 Enotria&Coe

Borgo Selene, Nero d'Avola/Nerello Mascalese 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A wine of varied personality, according to Tanguy Martin of La Trompette: 'Gamey with berry fruit, supple and fragrant but fruity, easy yet ripe on the palate.' Ned Neville-Rolfe of Vinoteca King's Cross liked its 'charming aromatics and refreshing acidity'.

£5.75 Liberty Wines

Terrazze dell'Etna, Cirneco, Etna 2010, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Great wine with amazing texture,' enthused team leader Olivier Marie, adding: 'Subtle and elegant, balletically refined yet concentrated. Showing tertiary character and fine fruit, with herbal savoury notes.' 'Lush red fruits with rose and ta Vrry good,' agreed Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte.

£20.00 Liberty Wines

Terrazze dell'Etna, Carusu, Etna 2013, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Collection found 'red fruits, sour cherry and notes of vanilla, cedar and cinnamon', adding: 'Velvety smooth with fresh, lively acidity, rustic tannins that will benefit with some further cellaring.'

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Tasca, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Love it,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, continuing: 'Smooth, slightly scented, very attractive wine that's warm and mouth-filling.' 'Ripe, rich, dark berry character with spice and thyme herb notes,' added Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group.

£24.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Feudo Arancio, Syrah 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Tanguy Martin of La Trompette felt this was 'very good value', with its 'dark spices and savoury touches', while Ned Neville-Rolfe of Vinoteca King's Cross highlighted 'chewy tannins, defined fruit of raspberry and red cherry, and acidity that cuts it up nicely'.

£6.53 Mezzacorona

Pala, S'Arai, Isola dei Nuraghi 2010, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Very interesting,' mused Ned Neville-Rolfe of Vinoteca King's Cross, adding: 'Cassis and blackcurrant leaf notes on the nose, ripe black fruit palate with great texture and balance, along with slatey, wet flint mineral notes.'

£17.75 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Canicattì, La Ferla, Nero d'Avola 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A 'simple and attractive' red, according to team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who noted its 'sweet, ripe fruit, soft tannins in a very fruity unoaked style', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering agreed: 'Easy, juicy, tangy fruit. Very amiable.'

£5.93 Vinum

Unmaredivino, Terra e Mare, Rosso, Colli del Limbara 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

Argiolas , Iselis, Monica di Sardegna Superiore 2013, Sardinia , Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.19 Eurowines

Settesoli , Mandrarossa, Timperosse 2014, Sicily , Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.06 Enotria&Coe


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