Coste al Vento
- 2015 - 88/100: The 2015 Sicilia Grillo Coste Al Vento shows a pretty golden color and luminous appearance. The bouquet is redolent of tropical fruit, peach, citrus and a subtle note of green olive. This Grillo is easy-drinking and approachable but it also has the mild structure to pair with a more important dish like pasta con le vongole. Some 3,500 bottles were produced.
- 2014 - 85/100: The 2014 Sicilia Coste al Vento is spicy and thickly textured white wine with a slightly ossidative style. The bouquet reveals layers of stone fruit, caramel and pine nut. This expression of Grillo is aged in tonneaux and is made with as little winemakers' intervention as possible.
- 2012 - 86/100: From the larger Sicilia DOC, the 2012 Sicilia Grillo Coste al Vento is vinified in stainless steel and sees five days of skin maceration for extra texture and intensity. This edition shows moderate intensity and a pretty ensemble of lemon curd, tangerine zest and crushed mineral. Drink 2014-2016.
- 2015 - 87/100: The 2015 Menfi Rosato La Bambina is an amber colored rosé with copper and raspberry highlights. This Nero d'Avola-based wine shows delicate aromas of honey, wild berry, candied fruit and acacia flower. The bouquet is deeply fragrant and floral. It offers good value from the deep south of Italy.
- 2015 - 88/100: Another good value wine, the 2015 Sicilia Nero d'Avola takes a very direct and immediate approach to the grape. This Nero d'Avola shows the dark olive, caper and rosemary aromas. The wine is streamlined and tight with a sour point of cranberry on the close.
- 2012 - 88/100: The 2012 Sicilia Nero d'Avola is a great value deal, especially if you are in the market for a fresh and upfront Sicilian red without too many bells and whistles. This is the kind of informal wine to pair wth grilled sausages, onions and green peppers. Medium bodied in color and concentration, the wine opens to earthy layers with bold cherry fruit, crushed flowers and a background tinge of jammy raspberry. Its texture is plush and chewy, but here's a good dose of freshness that keeps it from feeling heavy.
- 2013 - 88/100: The 2013 Sicilia Microcosmo is 90% Perricone and 10% Nerello Mascalese from one of the most innovative producers in the southern part of Sicily. This wine offers a very exotic bouquet with Indian spice and Turkish bazaar mixed in with dried fruit, prune, black olive and marinated capers. Perricone is a marked and deeply etched red grape that delivers loads of intensity and a brooding personality. The wine is firm and muscular.
- 2011 - 89/100: A 90 - 10 blend of Perricone and Nerello Mascalese, the 2011 Microcosmo is intended to underline synergies between these two very different Sicilian grapes. They are treated as on with pruning and harvest times that are the same for both. The idea is to show the potential of the vineyard site, teaming with insects, flowers and animals as a microcosm. The wine is beautiful and bold with dark fruit set against sweet Indian spice and barbecue smoke. Microcosmo is aged for one year in neutral French tonneaux. The wine is dark and mysterious and shows the brawn of Perricone with the firmness of Nerello Mascalese.
- 2015 - 90+/100: With its Quintarelli-styled handwritten label, Marilena Barbera hits a new stride with her 2015 Menfi Ciàtu. Unrefined and unfiltered, this is an inky dark and impenetrable red wine with a seamless presentation of dark fruit aromas. In terms of flavor, it takes you slightly off guard thanks to a sour point of fresh blackberry or bitter almond that is characteristic of the Alicante grape. That astringency makes for a good contrast against the overall heft and density of the wine. This is an extreme wine for resilient palates.