I think every wine lover can appreciate what a difficult job this is: to select the best of the best after having tasted through dozens and dozens of some of the best wines of Sicily. But it’s a great rewarding exercise since it makes me reflect and revisit some wonderful visits.
This is actually a bonus selection since I’m including here as well the top white wines and the top wines from our Aeolian Islands tour.
So first the Top 2 Wines of our Aeolian Tour:
White: Caravaglio Malvasia di Lipari Passito 2018, a luscious, unctuous well-balanced desseet wine
Red: Palari Faro 2013, an iconic wine only listed here because we had it at the end of the Aeolian tour, but this wine would be in the upper tier of Sicilian wines.
And now, the top 10 wines of our Sicily tour:
#10 Centopassi Terre Rosse di Giabbascio Catarratto 2017, an outstanding white wine
#9 Planeta Chardonnay 2018, Planeta wrote the book on Sicilian Chardonnay
#7 Benanti Contrada Cavaliere 2017
#6 Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2017, their ‘basic’ red dazzles wine lovers
#5 Cantine Nicosia Etna Rosso Riserva Monte Gorna 2013
#4 Cottanera Etna Rosso Zottorinoto Riserva 2011
#3 Baglio di Pianetto Ramione 2016
#2 Girolamo Russo Feudo di Mezzo 2017
#1 Graci Sopra il Pozzo 2015, a true gem, if you can find it.
My take away from all of the above: forget Nero d’Avola as Sicily’s best red wine. Nerello Mascalese, in the hands of the right producer and grown on volcanic soil, is an outstanding grape variety that will delight any wine lover with its structure and fruit forward dimensions. Is it a Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir alternative? Well, here’s a great experiment which I hope to try someday: a blind tasting of a Burgundy, Nebbiolo and Nerello Mascalese