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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: Sicily & Sardinia – White

Winner Details

 ITALY: SICILY & SARDINIA – WHITE

2017 Gold: 3 Silver: 7 Bronze: 7 Commended: 4
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 4 Bronze: 1 Commended: 3

Strength in depth here. While the number of Golds might have been the same as last year, both Silvers and Bronzes increased markedly. It’s proof both of an increase in entries (clearly, the merchants think – rightly – that restaurants should be interested in these wines) and also of much better winemaking than a few years ago.

Grillos, Vermentinos, Catarrattos, Chardonnays, even the odd rogue Moscato, all life was here, and most of it competitively priced. It made a nice change for the tasters, after wading their way through so much £12+ white wine from everywhere else in Italy.

Two further points: first, it was interesting that two of our three Golds came from Etna. Maybe there’s something in this ‘Mister lava lava man’ stuff after all. And second, a big well done to Alta Mora, which picked up its second Gold on the trot in what was a large and hotly contested category.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘If you are after a white wine that’s clean and fresh, but that’s not Sauvignon Blanc, then Italy is the place to look.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘This flight represented good value for money, especially in the £8 to £12 range. Charles Pashby-Taylor, Dabbous

‘These were generally good, well-made, drinkable wines. You picture yourself with a glass of these with the sun out!’ Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned Hotel

‘From this region customers expect Greco and Fiano at affordable prices. I think people now see Southern Italy as a go-to for good, easy-drinking white wine,’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘People do know Sicily better than Sardinia. On my list I have an Etna Bianco and a Grillo. They sell well.’ Jacopo Armenio, Vinarius

‘I think customers are starting to recognise Etna wines now.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 57 wines

Italy: South – Red, including Sicily & Sardinia

Argiolas, Turriga, Isola dei Nuraghi 2012, Sardinia, Italy

Gold medal winner

Sardinia’s second Gold in the category, this was ‘a very well-proportioned wine’, thought Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, who enjoyed its ‘meaty, gamey aromas with dusty wood and pine tar notes, a balanced and structured palate that reveals a lovely fruit softness and a meaty, wood smoke finish with good length’. Team leader Simon Woods found ‘soft, spicy, generous, juicy berry character combined with freshness and balanced tannins, but with the fruit to back it up’. A perfect match for oxtail, said Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson.

£35.50 Eurowines

CVA Canicattì, Aquilae, Organic, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

Judges admired this Nero d’Avola’s complex combination of fruit, herbs and spice, awarding it Gold. ‘With nicely perfumed plum aromas and richness on the palate, the fruit quality shines through textured tannins into a great finish,’ began Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, while Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group highlighted its aromatics of ‘berry fruit, forest floor, olives and salty oyster shell’, and team leader Andrea Briccarello pointed to a ‘bright, vibrant, pomegranate and cranberry nose with tight structure on the palate’. Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms described a ‘well-balanced, spicy wine, with roast chestnuts and red fruit – a match for beer and charred vegetables’.

£9.60 VinumTerra

A Mano, Imprint, Appassito, Primitivo 2015, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Complex aromas of plum, prune, cherry and tobacco with hints of earthy liquorice and dark chocolate’ took this Primitivo to Gold, according to Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, who enjoyed its ‘dry, big, rich and concentrated palate, full bodied yet fresh, with more dark chocolate and a toasted character on the finish’. Geoffray Bénat of Cépages Wine Bistro noted ‘ripe cassis, rose and violet aromas with intensity, sweetness, yet dry tannins and ripe fruit on the palate, blackberry and cassis, all in good balance together’. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW thought this a perfect match for venison.

£9.95 Liberty Wines

Cantine Paradiso, Posta Piana, Uva di Troia 2014, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

Team leader Sam Caporn MW praised this Gold-winning Italian for ‘spicy prunes and figs – a characterful and tasty wine with a kirsch note to finish’, while Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán highlighted ‘notes of iron on the nose, serious and concentrated on the palate with meaty notes making it good for food’. Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia thought this was ‘atypical in style, with an elegant nose of dark fruit plus fresh raspberry, leading to a subtly mint-touched palate’.

£8.41 VinumTerra

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

Gold medal winner By the glass

Snapping up not only a Gold medal but a pair of trophies, too, this Sicilian red had ‘great fruit on the nose, then well-balanced flavours on the palate with nice signs of ageing, some more dark fruit character and great spicy notes on the finish’, said Ivan Ruiz of Wright Brothers, with Bleeding Heart Group’s Christopher Delalonde MS noting ‘some good texture, rich fruit that’s ripe, fleshy and juicy, and a touch of grip on the finish adding length’. ‘Plenty of fruit and enough weight for food – tomato-based dishes in particular,’ concluded team leader Angela Reddin.

£6.88 Bibendum

Feudo Arancio, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

This Sicilian Gold Lister was described by Sebastian Agnello of The Don Restaurant as having ‘classic plum and pomegranate notes, elegant balance and smooth tannins’, and for Jason Atherton Group’s Stefan Kobald there were ‘black and blue fruits, ripe and smoky, then good minerals on the palate with a salty edge’. ‘Rich and dark, with savoury, spicy aromas, elegance and flowing acidity on the palate with well-textured tannins,’ added Vinoteca’s Charlie Young. ‘A match for rabbit terrine,’ concluded The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£6.53 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Tasca, Rosso del Conte 2012, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

Sophisticated, substantial, and deserving of Gold, according to our judges. Cavalry & Guards Club’s Andre Luis Martins found ‘gentle herbal aromas with plum spice on a punchy body’, while Guillaume Mahaut of ETM Group was very much taken with its ‘violet floral aromas and blue berries on a pretty palate, with firm structure and notes of fresh sour cherry’. Team leader Angela Reddin appreciated ‘very complex aromas, with autumn fruits and baking spices, as well as some earthy, game aromas, leading to a palate both luscious and svelte’.

£33.88 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2013, Sardinia, Italy

Gold medal winner

Harry Crowther of M Wine Store liked this substantial Gold Lister’s ‘meaty and complex nose, dried herbs and refreshing acidity on a lively palate’, while Street XO’s Raphael Thierry found ‘minty fruit aromas, juicy fruit balanced by dry tannin, and a long, spicy oak finish’. ‘Deep, dark fruit nose with hints of violets and spiced black plums, serious stuff!’ added team leader Martin Lam.

£13.26 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Cantina Diomede, Canace, Nero di Troia 2015, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

A clear choice for Gold, this had ‘deep cedar aromas with lots of coffee mocha, modern style, black fragrant fruit and lifted spice with a polished feel’, according to team leader Sam Caporn MW. ‘Dark and dense, with bold blackberry and blueberry fruit, plenty happening on the palate and a long finish,’ agreed Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS. ‘Great balance and intensity, and reasonably priced, too. One to accompany roast beef,’ concluded Harbour Heights Hotel’s Marek Rakowski.

£14.74 Liberty Wines

San Marzano, Vindoro, Negroamaro, Salento 2013, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

A bright and fruit-forward flavour profile propelled this to Gold, with Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut finding ‘lots of red fruit, plums and leather notes with cherry and white pepper character on the palate’. Mike Best of the WSET, meanwhile, enjoyed its ‘bold, powerful aromas, cedar and spicy Morello cherries, with a juicy and ripe, delicious palate profile that would be a good match with southern-spiced fare’.

£17.90 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Marzano, Sessantanni, Limited Edition, Primitivo di Manduria 2013, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

A solid Gold medal to accompany San Marzano’s win in the equivalent Italian white category. Team leader Sam Caporn MW highlighted its ‘perfumed oak with spice notes’, finding it a ‘modern, polished style with lots of fruit and a great balance of cherry fruit and structure’, while Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS picked up on some ‘violet florals, cherry and blackberry with a rich, ripe palate showing notes of coffee and vanilla, and a bit of maturity and leather’. Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh enjoyed its ‘sweet fruit, soft and elegant style with botanic herbs and freshness’. ‘With plums, chocolate and vanilla, this would pair well with wild boar ragù,’ said Tamarind of Mayfair’s Chantal Serrano.

£15.73 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Planeta, Santa Cecilia, Nero d'Avola, Noto 2011, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

Tasted in magnum, and one of a hat-trick of Golds for Planeta, this was ‘soft and smooth – a great rendition of a good, ripe Nero d’Avola, silky with lots of plump red fruits’, began The Don Restaurant’s Sebastian Agnello. Vinoteca’s Charlie Young found ‘sweet spices, plenty of ripe tannins, fairly thick texture but great fruit on the palate, which calls for big, rich meat dishes’, while Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot particularly enjoyed its ‘spearmint, liquorice and bramble fruit character on a very well-balanced palate’.

£19.32 Enotria&Coe

Planeta, Eruzione 1614, Nerello Mascalese 2014, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

A light, fresh touch helped Planeta to take another Gold. ‘Ripe fruit with sweet cranberry on the nose, a nice core of acidity on the palate with slightly grainy tannin,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW. ‘A lovely pure note of strawberries and flowers – this is brilliant stuff. Young, with primary fruit and aromatics, and a long, linear finish,’ praised Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson, suggesting this as an ideal accompaniment for fatty cuts of pork.

£16.02 Enotria&Coe

Cusumano, Tenuta Presti e Pegni, Noà 2014, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Black cherry and rose petals on the nose, firm structure in a well-crafted wine,’ said Harry Crowther of M Wine Store, with team leader Martin Lam advising: ‘Decanting is required for it to reveal its full personality, with lifted red fruit on the nose, a bit subdued, with sour cherry on a savoury-saline palate and drying tannin.’

£18.99 Eurowines

Rocca, Torridoro, Primitivo di Manduria 2014, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe and juicy, earthy character with good dense texture, gentle red berry fruit that’s balanced with firm tannins,’ said team leader Simon Woods, with Neil Tabraham of Paris House noting ‘sweet black fruit nose, rustic but juicy palate with grippy tannins, needs a big steak’.

£6.81 CellarVino

CVA Canicattì, La Ferla, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Pure and spicy aromas, savoury, ripe and spicy on the palate with dark plum fruit and ripe tannins,’ said Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, with Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group noting its ‘bright fruit, meaty and spicy, black pepper character with grainy tannins’.

£6.41 VinumTerra

Feudo Maccari, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group enjoyed its ‘fruit-forward, ripe, blueberry and sour cherry style, with notes of cigar box and forest floor, with a soft palate and nicely integrated tannins making it a juicy wine’, while Vinoteca’s Charlie Young picked up ‘rich aromas laced with coffee and mulberries, fresh acidity and bitey tannins with elegance on the finish’.

£7.65 Boutinot

Cantina del Vermentino, Marmora, Cannonau 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

A wine of ‘immediate appeal’, according to team leader Martin Lam, who found ‘crisp red apple fruit and spice notes, despite a rather dumb nose’, and Harry Crowther of M Wine Store highlighted its ‘attractive fruit, aromatic character and good structure’.

£7.54 Bibendum

Caruso & Minini, Sachia, Perricone 2014, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy, fresh red plums on the nose with cherry touches, a wisp of oak on a nicely balanced palate,’ began team leader Martin Lam, with Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst) finding ‘light violet notes on a fresh nose, cranberry fruit on the palate with good acidity’.

£7.23 Bibendum

Scala, Cirò, Rosso Classico Superiore 2013, Calabria, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘The nose is very beautiful and complex,’ began The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, continuing: ‘Tobacco leaves and tomato, blueberry and black cherry with leather, the acidity and tannins are very well in balance, and it’s a really good wine for the price.’ ‘High tannins, but with this acidity it’s going to be amazing in a couple of years,’ added Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce.

£9.60 Bibendum

San Salvatore, Jungano, Aglianico, Paestum 2013, Campania, Italy

Silver medal winner

The consensus among our judges was that this would benefit from a couple more years of ageing, but team leader Tom Forrest also found: ‘Volatile, slightly balsamic cherry notes with some liquorice and oak spice, soft cherry and cedar on the palate with soft tannins and a warming finish.’

£15.40 Matthew Clark

Tasca, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Cherries, candied fruits and caramel notes on an elegant nose,’ began Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst), who enjoyed finding ‘lots of fruity berry notes on the palate, which is complex and fresh’, while Street XO’s Raphael Thierry noted ‘good fruit concentration, cherry and red fruits with good oak and tannic structure, ready to drink but can be kept for many years’.

£27.06 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Cantine del Notaio, L'Atto, Aglianico 2015, Basilicata, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Summer pudding character, quite charming and warm, with a lifted character of fresh red berry fruits,’ began team leader Sam Caporn MW, while Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh found a ‘line of complexity and finesse, purity of red and blue flowers, plum and spicy notes’.

£9.67 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Vigneti Zabù, Il Passo, Nerello Mascalese/Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Cassis and plum on the nose, followed by more red plum jammy notes on a fruity palate,’ began Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW noting ‘rich, ripe strawberry aromas with generous use of new oak, giving a plush and ripe style’.

£9.84 Liberty Wines

San Marzano, Il Pumo, Primitivo, Salento 2015, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Bright with dark fruits, rich and juicy on the palate with some meaty notes and spicy complexity,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with WSET’s Mike Best noting ‘baked but still high acidity and fresh, interesting and food-friendly with ripe aromatics’.

£7.61 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Marzano, Il Pumo, Salice Salentino 2014, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Cherry and fresh beetroot aromas with a musky hint, dried cherries in the mouth, quite light in body and in general, but easy to drink,’ said team leader Angela Reddin, with J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers finding it ‘super-fresh with a good amount of flavour intensity, and a bit of animal character hiding in the bushes’.

£7.61 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Marzano, Talò, Primitivo di Manduria 2015, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS found it ‘rich and clean, with blackberries, spice and thyme herbal notes on the nose, young on the palate with hints of charcoal and oak, bacon meaty character and fresh acidity and tannin’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW felt it was ‘dense and nice, quite a polished, modern style’.

£10.97 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Marzano, Collezione Cinquanta, Vino Rosso NV, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce found this a ‘fruit-driven, juicy wine with high tannins and a pleasant spicy character, very intense with loads of expression and a long finish’, while Sumi Sarma of Sumilier noted ‘figs, ripe plums, raisins and prunes, well rounded and soft on the palate with a hint of pine needle greenness’.

£16.40 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Marzano, Anniversario 62, Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2013, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

Popular with all the judges, this showed ‘mineral, fresh, lively black fruit with tobacco and dark chocolate on the nose’, said Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, then ‘a drying and full-bodied palate with good concentration and superb texture’. J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers felt it ‘holds tons of fruit and will age beautifully, but will sell like hot cakes now in the right restaurant’.

£19.95 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Varvaglione, Papale, Linea Oro, Primitivo di Manduria 2014, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Generous and powerful, vibrant character with figs and plum, spicy meats and tannin with notes of lavender on the finish,’ said Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh. ‘Tight fruit and big, yet elegant, with poise and structure,’ added team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£17.80 Enotria&Coe

Vallone, Susumaniello, Salento 2015, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Stewy red cherry fruits with notes of liquorice on the nose, followed by a soft palate of fruit compote, cherries and prunes, with hints of liquorice and spice, chunky texture and softish tannins, but it needs big food,’ said team leader Tom Forrest.

£8.09 Boutinot

Vallone, Vereto, Salice Salentino Riserva 2012, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh found it ‘fresh and vibrant, with cherry fruit and crushed spices and mineral, toasty on the finish’, and Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán admired its ‘good perfume, great middle palate and volume’, finding it ‘drinkable and fast-developing’.

£8.09 Boutinot

Feudo Maccari, Saia, Nero d'Avola 2013, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

There were ‘earthy black fruits on a meaty, complex nose’, said Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group, ‘and a developing palate showing wild berries with herbaceous undertones, balanced tannin and acidity, and a chalky mineral note’.

£13.89 Boutinot

Feudo Arancio, Syrah 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Crunchy red fruit and currant aromas, unoaked and fresh, clean on the palate with crisp acidity but some richness on the finish, and it’s good value,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, and Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club also found notes of ‘spiced plum jam and baked cherry, with sweet spices on a fresh finish’.

£6.53 Berkmann Wine Cellars

San Marzano, Vitti, Malvasia Nera, Salento 2013, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.50 Crown Cellars

Re Manfredi, Aglianico del Vulture 2012, Basilicata , Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.00 GIV UK

Argiolas, Senes, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2012, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.18 Eurowines

Cusumano, Benuara, Nero d'Avola/Syrah 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.60 Eurowines

Villa Matilde, Rocca dei Leoni, Aglianico 2013, Campania , Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.36 Eurowines

CVA Canicattì, Acquilae, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.18 VinumTerra

Cantine Lavorata, Bivongi, Rosso Riserva 2013, Calabria, Italy

Commended medal winner

Adesso, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£5.30 Fuller's

Cottanera, Contrada Diciassettesalme, Etna Rosso 2014, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.10 VinumTerra

Feudo Montoni, Lagnusa, Nero d'Avola 2013, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.98 Ester Wines

Tombacco, Aglianico del Beneventano 2015, Campania, Italy

Commended medal winner

Tombacco, Biferno Riserva 2011, Molise, Italy

Commended medal winner

Feudi Salentini, Primitivo 2015, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.32 Matthew Clark

Tasca, Tascante, Ghiaia Nera, Nerello Mascalese 2014, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

Cantina Mesa, Buio, Carignano del Sulcis 2015, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.59 Liberty Wines

Cantina Mesa, Buio Buio, Isola dei Nuraghi 2013, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£20.52 Liberty Wines

Vigneti del Vulture, Piano del Cerro, Aglianico del Vulture, Riserva 2012, Basilicata, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.20 Liberty Wines

Poderi Parpinello, Cagnulari, Isola dei Nuraghi 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

San Marzano, Talò, Malvasia Nera, Salento 2015, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

Planeta, Nero d'Avola/Nocera 2014, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.54 Enotria&Coe

Santadi, Rocca Rubia, Carignano del Sulcis Riserva 2013, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.94 Enotria&Coe

Botromagno, Primitivo della Puglia 2015, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.95 Enotria&Coe

Botromagno, Nero di Troia, Murgia Rosso 2014, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.70 Enotria&Coe

 

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