We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2018 > ITALY: Sicily & Sardinia – White

Winner Details

 Italy: Sicily & Sardinia - White

2018 Gold 3        Silver 3                Bronze 5             Commended 7
2017 Gold 3        Silver 7                Bronze 7             Commended 4

Where do you stand on the big issues of the day? Brexit? Trump? Vermentino? On this evidence our tasters were more positive about the latter than the first two, but only just. We had plenty of them sent in, but not many made the cut, and despite some positive overall feedback in the early rounds, none did better than Bronze.

Other than that, it was open season – our tasters happy to reward Grillos, Catarrattos, Chardonnays and blends with gay abandon. Key to their success was the improved balance they were seeing in the wines. Where a few years ago, there was a misguided attempt to ‘create value’ by over-oaking varieties that didn’t need it and then slapping an optimistic price tag on, we saw much more sensitive winemaking here this year: wines of character, with breadth, texture and unforced freshness, mostly at good prices. They were wines that transported our judges from a chilly spring day in London to the sun-glinted shores of the Mediterranean.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘When people choose wines from the south they want freshness, predominantly – something that you can enjoy with fresh seafood, to remind you of the summer.’ Simone Fadda, Roka Aldwych

‘These were very aromatic: good for shellfish and light fish dishes.’ Cristian Sánchez, Hotel du Vin Cambridge

‘The Vermentinos were concentrated, with great quality to price ratio.’ Mattia Mazzi, Lutyens Bar & Restaurants

‘These should be great value for money, but they weren’t always.’ Timothy Connor, Core by Clare Smyth

‘A flight of two halves. After £11 the grape varieties started to show through, with freshness, minerality and more of a personality.’ Robert Mason, Cheese at Leadenhall

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Italy: South – White Sicily & Sardinia

Rapitalà, Grand Cru, Chardonnay 2016, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

Impressed with its ‘rich, honeyed, almost smoked palate’, team leader Andrea Briccarello found ‘great complexity and delicious savoury style’ as this wine joined its fellow Sicilians on the Gold podium. Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS was similarly taken with its ‘flowery straw, fruit peel and peach aromas, textured and dense palate with bags of fruit and spices, round but powerful body with balanced acids’. ‘To recommend with some meaty fish or white meats,’ added Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant.

£18.56 Matthew Clark

Antichi Vinai 1877, Petralava, Etna Bianco 2017, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

Aromatic concentration was central to this wine, and marked it out clearly for Gold, with Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants finding ‘delicate blossomy aromas, white flowers and grapey honey millefeuille, a palate dominated by aromatics, with more flowers, an oily texture and medium acidity, but matching the lean cut of the nose’. ‘Maybe Asian food,’ mused team leader Laurent Richet MS, picking up ‘assertive peach and apricot with vibrant acidity, clean and delicious’.

£13.50 Mondial Wine

Feudo Montoni, Vigna della Timpa, Grillo 2016, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

One of a trio of Sicilian Golds, this impressed our judges, with Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn enjoying its ‘fresh and ripe lemons and limes on the nose, good acidity with some tropical notes on the palate and a background of minerality’. Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason noted ‘gentle citrus and stone fruit, mineral backbone’, finding it ‘fresh and smooth with herbal notes and grapefruit on the finish’.

£10.79 Ester Wines

Planeta, La Segreta, Il Bianco 2017, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

Good local character here for Cristian Sánchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge, who picked up ‘aromas of bitter orange and grapefruit, green apple and orange blossom floral notes, light on the palate with high acidity and a touch more bitterness on the finish’, while Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants felt it was ‘a notch up, subtle aromas with oiliness, texture from lees contact, fruit more pear than peach with good concentration’.

£8.30 Enotria&Coe

Alta Mora, Etna Bianco 2016, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Herbal, clean, grape and white fruit aromas with flower notes, lean and light with a crisp and zingy mid-palate and a long, aromatic finish,’ said Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS, with team leader Andrea Briccarello finding it ‘complex, rich and aromatic, with nectarine and peach fruit and great acidity’.

£12.30 Eurowines

Tasca, Buonora, Carricante 2016, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

This was ‘all about freshness and crunch, lovely weight, like Grüner Veltliner without the spice’, Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants explained, while Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia picked up ‘very creamy citrus sweetness, grass and lemongrass on the nose, rich and rounded palate that’s a touch peppery with a hint of mint’.

£15.85 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Unmaredivino, Terra e Mare, Vermentino di Gallura 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Simone Fadda of Roka Aldwych was drawn to this wine’s ‘fruity aromas with lemon peel and jasmine flower and tea leaf hints, slightly creamy texture with gentle acidity’, while Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS found ‘potpourri and lychee notes combined with coconut and peach, tinned fruit on a palate of great drive with a balanced outcome’.

£11.00 Davy's Wine Merchants

Colomba Bianca, Vitese, Catarratto 2016, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Timothy Connor of Core by Clare Smyth picked up ‘grapefruit minerality and acidity with notes of honey and melon, green herbs’, while Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn felt its ‘guava and banana, bright fruit and mineral edge’ would be ‘good with salads or tuna’.

£7.26 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Cantina del Vermentino, Funtanaliras, Vermentino di Gallura 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A fun wine,’ said Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine, with its ‘citrus and lychee, floral aromas, juicy fruit and bubblegum hints’, while Timothy Connor of Core by Clare Smyth pointed to its ‘fleshy fruit with a kick of flower petals and some oaky spice, with notes of tinned fruit on the palate’.

£12.10 Bibendum

Fondo Antico, Grillo Parlante 2016, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant highlighted ‘lime and lemon citrus character with minerality that would cut nicely through more oily dishes’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello found it ‘green, grassy and vegetal, with great fruit and acidity on the palate’.

£9.82 Bibendum

Santadi, Pedraia, Nuragus di Cagliari 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants liked its ‘medium-intense nose of sundried grass, sweet lemon peel, bitter orange and a perception of bruised fruit ripeness, lively acidity on a succulent, mineral, grapey palate with an almost Zibibbo aftertaste’.

£9.99 Enotria&Coe

Feudo Arancio, Grillo 2017, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

Sella & Mosca, Terre Bianche, Cuvee 161, Torbato, Alghero 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.92 Alivini

Alessandro di Camporeale, Vigna di Mandranova, Organic, Grillo 2017, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.61 Alivini

Cantina del Vermentino, Marmora, Vermentino di Sardegna 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.32 Bibendum

Caruso & Minini, Terre di Giumara, Grecanico 2017, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.22 Bibendum

Argiolas, Iselis, Nasco di Cagliari 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.75 Eurowines

Cottanera, Barbazzale, Bianco 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.46 VinumTerra

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.