Home Winners > Winners 2018 > ITALY: Sicily & Sardinia – Red

Winner Details

Italy: Sicily & Sardinia - Red

2018  Gold 3        Silver 10               Bronze 10            Commended 20
2017  Gold 8        Silver 7                 Bronze 2              Commended 12

We do it so that you don’t have to… We had a large number of entries from southern Italy this year – understandable, perhaps, given that it’s one of the few areas of Europe still able to produce sommelier-interesting wines for half-decent prices. But my God did our tasters have to work hard to get to these medal winners. Oddly, perhaps, the main criticism didn’t seem to be out-of-control alcohol, baked fruit or lashings of oak (all of which have been issues in the past), but rather, green drying tannins and a peculiar reticence of flavour. A lot of wines were removed in the first round of judging.

What we were left with, however – what you see on these pages – was good. Interesting, too – we had everything from wild-eyed Cannonaus from Sardinia to elegant light-touch Frappatos, mannered Etna Rossos and aristocratic Cabernets.

There is, in short, a lot of interesting wine here if you are in the mood for a bit of vinous exploration, and the Nero d’Avolas were probably some of the best wines for the price that we had in the whole of Italy this year.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I stock a lot of these. People ask for Sicilian wines – fresh, vibrant with good minerality.’ Janusz Pawel Sasiadek, Bottles & Battles

‘They weren’t what I was expecting. High in alcohol, grippy tannins… and a lack of fruit. Some were fairly priced for gastropubs, steak houses.’ Aurel Istrate, The Connaught

‘Last year this flight was a bit bretty and volatile, but they had better fruit this year.’ Michael Fiducia, Coworth Park Ascot

‘A very savoury flight, a lot of tannin, not a lot of fruit. Very drying and savoury, and big. Interesting to add in to a list. It’s a category that bears looking at – it’s full-bodied but savoury, and without jammy fruit.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘I was disappointed with the most expensive wines: big wines, lots of oak notes but just muscle, no elegance.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

‘Very rustic style of wine. You’d need to drink them with pork, veal or game –something heavier with sauces.’ Andrés Rangel, Sketch

Award winners

Found 43 wines

Italy: South – Red Sicily & Sardinia

Santa Maria La Nave, Calmarossa, Etna Rosso 2014, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘An enticing nose’ was among the effusive praise this Sicilian red received, along with its Gold medal, with Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia describing ‘an opulent palate, with good length’. For Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants, this had ‘a smoky, tarry nose reminiscent of Nebbiolo’, as well as ‘firm structure, fruit that is intense and dark, and good concentration too’. This food-friendly combination had The Cross Kenilworth and Simpsons Edgbaston’s Giuseppe Longobardi picturing it with ‘venison with cranberry, or haggis’.

£29.98 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Donnafugata, Bell’Assai, Frappato di Vittoria 2016, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A vibrant, pleasant summer wine,’ said an impressed Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles as this took a well-deserved Gold medal, finding ‘lovely fresh fruits and good acidity’. Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse identified ‘lavender perfume and a splash of cinnamon towards the finish’, and Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson thought it was ‘hugely drinkable’, praising its ‘pretty, fragrant nose with cherries and wild flowers, and an elegant, pure palate with more cherries, wild herbs, and the grip of some fresh tannin’.

£16.50 Liberty Wines

Villa Oppi, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

A clear Gold List candidate, this had ‘blackcurrant, cherry and blackberry jam notes’, began Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth and Simpsons Edgbaston, who went on to describe a palate packed with ‘liquorice and spice that is well balanced by tannins, and leading to a sweet finish’. ‘Rounded ripe fruit, with chocolate and nuts too, leading to an elegant finish,’ said Four Degree’s Jonathan Kleeman, summing it up as ‘punchy, and very drinkable’.

£13.33 The Wine Drinker

Canicattì, Aquilae, Nero d'Avola 2016, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘An intense, pronounced nose with violets, dark cherries and black fruit, leading to more floral notes on the palate, and good length,’ said Jose Luis Hernandez of Hakkasan Hanway Place, while Ten Trinity Square Private Club’s Melody Wong found it ‘pure and elegant, with raspberry, strawberry and sweet spice’.

£8.20 VinumTerra

Pala, I Fiori, Cannonau 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘So perfumed!’ began team leader Jade Koch, who went on to describe ‘an interesting nose, with Earl Grey tea and strawberry notes, leading to a palate that’s big, yet lean, with good, ripe mulberry fruit and culminating in a drying finish’.

£10.14 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Unmaredivino, Rossosmeraldo, Colli del Limbara 2015, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin described ‘cherries, chocolate and a slight whiff of anise too’, finding this to have ‘lovely balance’. ‘Amazing rich, dark flavours here make bison with a parmesan honey crust come to mind,’ added The London Cookhouse’s Michael Moore.

£13.17 Davy's Wine Merchants

Fondo Antico, Per Te, Perricone 2016, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS was impressed by this Sicilian red’s ‘lovely intensity, with dried roses on the nose’, while Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants found ‘ripe, red fruit and sweet spices, leading to a juicy, fruit-forward palate, with some oak tannins’.

£9.94 Bibendum

Unmaredivino, Oltremare, Colli del Limbara 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

Andrés Rangel of Sketch enjoyed notes of ‘menthol and liquorice, with some high tannins’ in this Sardinian red. Yohann Pinol of Wiltons appreciated its ‘smokiness, and with some good structure, too’, while The Connaught’s Aurel Istrate liked its ‘very good oak integration’.

£26.08 Davy's Wine Merchants

Argiolas, Is Solinas, Carignano del Sulcis Riserva 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A full wine, with good fruit concentration,’ began Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants in his praise of this Sardinian red, describing ‘ripe, sweet, red and black fruit, with a chocolatey and smoky palate’. ‘A very serious wine, with good tannins and dark fruit,’ concluded team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£15.00 Eurowines

Donnafugata, Mille e Una Notte 2014, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A massive wine, with chalky and spicy notes,’ said team leader Jade Koch, while Andrés Rangel of Sketch thought it ‘rustic in style, with high tannins’. Yohann Pinol of Wiltons described it as ‘rich and opulent, and concentrated, too’.

£45.80 Liberty Wines

Cesari, Adesso, Nero d'Avola 2016, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A great value wine,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, who went on to describe ‘soft berry fruit, as well as spice, cocoa and coffee notes’, while Melody Wong of Ten Trinity Square Private Club noted ‘baked strawberry and pastry notes’.

£5.30 Fuller's

Zisola, Nero d'Avola, Noto Rosso 2015, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Bright red berry fruit leads to earthiness and mushroom notes, as well as some sweet spice, and smooth, silky tannins,’ was how Ten Trinity Square Private Club’s Melody Wong described this Nero d’Avola, which Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth and Simpsons Edgbaston praised for its ‘crisp palate with tobacco and blackcurrant notes’.

£10.99 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Tasca, Rosso del Conte 2013, Sicily, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A complex wine, with cured meat, thyme and pine needle notes,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants described a wine with ‘great concentration and power, with lots of wild herbs and red fruits, and well-integrated oak’.

£43.41 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Feudo Arancio, Syrah 2016, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Notes of cherry and mocha, as well as some umami characteristics, all lead to a medley of crunchy fruit,’ said Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, with Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse finding ‘rich, dark chocolate on the palate, with a smooth berry finish’.

£7.15 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Caruso & Minini, Sachia, Perricone 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Ripe, cooked bramble fruit on the nose leads to a dry, juicy palate with smooth tannins and a hint of sweetness on the finish,’ said team leader Lionel Periner, while Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles described it as ‘very easy drinking, with tobacco and violet notes, and refreshing acidity’.

£7.83 Bibendum

Cusumano, Tenuta San Giacomo, Sàgana 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Dark and inky fruit’ was team leader Laura Rhys MS’s first impression of this Sicilian red, going on to find ‘bold but integrated tannins, as well as some good freshness, and with super-spicy black pepper notes, and lovely length, too’.

£21.75 Eurowines

Cusumano, Tenuta Presti e Pegni, Noà 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A concentrated, structured wine’ thought Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki, going on to describe notes of ‘blueberry, mulberry and prune, as well as smoke, toast and tar’. ‘Fruit concentration is balanced by firm structure – good winemaking,’ added Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants.

£21.75 Eurowines

Santadi, Rocca Rubia, Carignano del Sulcis Riserva 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A lovely nose with fruit, spice and minerality,’ began Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, going on to describe this as ‘creamy on the palate, with a lovely finish’, while Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse thought it was ‘very well developed and balanced’.

£9.63 Enotria&Coe

Antichi Vinai 1877, Koinè, Etna Rosso Riserva 2012, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Bitter chocolate and blueberry tart’ was team leader Jade Koch’s description of this Sicilian red, and she found the palate to be ‘lean and oh so dry’. Aurel Istrate of The Connaught complimented its ‘good balance and tannins, and good length, too’.

£19.95 Mondial Wine

Cottanera, Contrada Diciassettesalme, Etna Rosso 2016, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Very pleasant,’ began Yohann Pinol of Wiltons, who went on to describe ‘fresh red fruit aromas, with soft tannins on the palate, and a long, fruity finish’, while team leader Jade Koch found it ‘warm and drying, and very savoury’.

£15.10 VinumTerra

Canicattì, Centuno, Rosso 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth and Simpsons Edgbaston liked this wine’s ‘toasted notes and cherry, blackberry and cranberry fruit’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS thought it ‘inky and intense, with bold, ripe fruits along with spice, dried herbs, a meaty note and defined tannins’.

£9.40 VinumTerra

Feudo Montoni, Vigna del Core, Perricone 2015, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘An inky wine, with ripe fruit, black berries and vanilla notes,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, with Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki finding ‘tar and smoke, with prune and black cherry, too’, and suggesting that this would be ‘very good for meaty dishes’.

£12.58 Ester Wines

Tasca, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Sicily, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Warming bramble fruit notes, with dark, chewy sandalwood and a silky smooth finish,’ said Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, while team leader Angela Reddin thought this had some ageing potential, with ‘lovely juicy weight of fruit and great tannic structure’.

£29.79 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Canicattì, La Ferla, Nero d'Avola 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.41 VinumTerra

Canicattì, Rapido, Nero d'Avola Terre Siciliane 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.50 VinumTerra

Feudo Arancio, Nero d'Avola 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

Sella & Mosca, Marchese di Villamarina, Alghero 2013, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£34.57 Alivini

Tenuta Sette Ponti, Feudo Maccari, Saia, Nero d'Avola 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.98 Boutinot

Cantine Nicosia, Vulkà, Etna Rosso 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Boutinot

Planeta, La Segreta, Il Rosso 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.30 Enotria&Coe

Planeta, Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2016, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.95 Enotria&Coe

Cantina del Vermentino, Marmora, Cannonau di Sardegna 2015, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.29 Bibendum

Caruso & Minini, Terre di Giumara, Frappato/Nerello Mascalese 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.56 Bibendum

Alta Mora, Etna Rosso 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.30 Eurowines

Alessandro di Camporeale, Kaid, Organic, Syrah 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.92 Alivini

Argiolas, Senes, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2014, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.55 Eurowines

Argiolas, Cardanera, Carignano del Sulcis 2016, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.70 Eurowines

Santadi, Terre Brune, Carignano del Sulcis Superiore 2013, Sardinia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£33.22 Enotria&Coe

Antichi Vinai 1877, Petralava, Etna Rosso 2013, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.50 Mondial Wine

Antichi Vinai 1877, d'A, Nero d'Avola 2014, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.50 Mondial Wine

Terrazze dell'Etna, Carusu, Etna Rosso 2014, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.75 Liberty Wines

Terrazze dell'Etna, Cirneco, Etna Rosso 2011, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£20.13 Liberty Wines

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

Commended medal winner

 

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