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2015 Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Portelli

2015 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Portelli - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

The red wines of Sicily come in many forms: on Mount Etna, they are thought-provoking, nuanced, and refined. The Nero d’Avolas of Eloro, outside the ancient town of Ispica, are dark, powerful, and brooding. And in Vittoria, west of stunning Ragusa, the reds have a personality all their own. Made from a blend of Frappato and Calabrese (the local name for Nero d’Avola), these wines are delicate, perfumed, and irresistibly quaffable.
     The Portelli family is a long-established producer in the area; Alessandro Portelli represents the fifth successive generation to run this historic estate. Little has changed over the years: until as recently as the 1960s, vinification took place in various palmenti—small farmhouses typically found in Sicily—scattered throughout the countryside. Today, the harvest is brought to a central cellar on the outskirts of Vittoria, but the organically farmed grapes are still vinified using the same traditional methods. Only last year did they begin shipping their wines to us in California.
     Portelli’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria offers Frappato’s ravishing floral aromatics and fruit-driven pleasure, along with the muscle and depth of the noble Calabrese. While most Sicilian reds exhibit high alcohol and brawny structure, this one is all about purity of fruit, class, and utter drinkability. With its medium-bodied, sensual, seductive personality, the wine is hard not to love.

Anthony Lynch

$23.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 70% Calabrese, 30% Frappato
Country: Italy
Region: Sicily
Producer: Portelli
Winemaker: Salvatore and Alessandro Portelli
Vineyard: 5.5 ha
Soil: Clay, limestone
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13%

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About Sicily

Italy’s southernmost region and the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has no shortage of sunshine to grow high-quality grapes on a yearly basis. It also does not lack a history of winemaking: since the Greeks settled here almost three millennia ago, the vine has played a major role in the island’s agricultural makeup. Production of cheap bulk wine for blending dominated much of its recent history until now, as we are witnessing a quality revolution that puts forth its great diversity and quality of terroirs, indigenous grape varieties, and local production methods.

While Sicily’s historical reputation is for sweet wines—Marsala and the Muscats of Pantelleria stand out—a number of dry whites and reds are enjoying the spotlight today. The cooler, high-altitude slopes of Etna, with its ashy volcanic soils, have seen an explosion of activity from producers both local and foreign; both whites (primarily from Carricante) and reds (Nerello Mascalese) here are capable of uncommon freshness and finesse. Other noteworthy wine regions are Eloro, where Nero d’Avola gives its best; Noto, an oasis of dry and sweet Moscatos; Vittoria, with its supple, perfumed Frappatos; and Salina, where Malvasia makes thirst-quenching dry whites and deliciously succulent passiti.

Countless foreign invasions over the centuries have given Sicilian architecture and cuisine a unique exotic twist, making it a fascinating destination for gourmands as well as wine importers. With a wealth of dedicated artisans proud to show off the riches of their land, you can bet there are many exciting things still to come from this incredible island.

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