New discoveries of the Sicilian wine kind were on offer at Dego' new degustation restaurant at Oxford Circus last night. Three autoctonos (indigenous) white varieties, and three red. The whites included Inzolia, Grecanico and Grillo. All very high quality, the first two from Caruso & Minini from the 2009 vintage. But the Grillo was probably my favourite. This was a 2007 Sicilia Bianco Grillo IGT from Fazio. Their vineyards cover an area of about 100 hectars planeted on hills at an ideal altitute between 250 and 500 metres. The microclimate is excellent (northernly winds and sea breezes) and the soil is poor, causing the roots to go deep down thus increasing the quality of the wine. Grillo is quite a serious wine with peach and pear on the nose, some pineapple, and an almondy finish. In another life, I would compare it to the 'style' of a good Mersault, luscious, deep gold yet dry and layered. Lovely.
Of the reds the tipical Nero D'Avola could not be missed, followed by Frappato and Nerello. The 2009 Sicilia Rosso Frappato IGT from COS impressed me no end. Byodinamically produced, no alterations are made in the wine, not even in bad vintages, as the aim is to let the wine speak for itself and tell its own story. This company even ages teh wine in ceramic amphoras, in an effort to preserve the purity of this traditional grape. It was quite light in colour, with notes of almond and straw, with a brisk and decisive palate and a concentration of fruit. A cool red wine. Read more tomorrow.