Poor Sicily. While people clamor for Barolo and Barbaresco, Chianti Classico and SuperTuscans, Sicilian wines have yet to get their day in the limelight. But two months ago, I came into the restaurant on a Monday when we were closed, and met two guys who brought in a whole spectrum of Sicilian wines. Seldom do we have a tasting in which one producer garners all our attention, but I have a new friend in Alessandro Cellai, winemaker for Feudi del Pisciotto and Rocca di Frasinello. And soon, you’ll be as fond of Alessandro as I am. This Sunday, January 31st at 3:30 pm, you’ll taste six of his wines alongside the snacks we’ve made to pair with them, and you’ll almost certainly be glad you did. All you have to do is make a reservation- the number is 326-9363, and we don’t take web or email reservations for this event. Then show up on Sunday with $35 plus tax and tip, sit back, relax, and discover some real Sicilian goodness.
Alessandro Cellai, and what’s so great about him and his wines
2012 Feudi del Pisciotto “Marengo” Frappato, Terre Siciliane IGT $30.00
Frappato is one of Sicily’s oldest grape varities. Usually blended with Nero d’Avola, like in the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, when monovarietal it is pleasant and smooth, with lively acidity and wonderful fragrances. It is characterized by a lighter color and most likely to be drunk young. Brilliant ruby red color. Fresh nose of red fruit, cherries and sweet spices. Round and balanced with bright acidity, velvety tannins and a persistent spicy finish.
2009 Feudi del Pisciotto “Valli” Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG $30.00
Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the sole Sicilian DOCG wine, whose appelation was gained in 2005. The wine must be made only with Nero d’Avola and Frappato, two Sicilian indigeneous grapes. Nero d’Avola is named after the town of Avola near Siracusa. Its original
name, “Calaulisi”, derives from two dialect words: “calea” grapes, and “Aulisi” Avola. Nero d’Avola gives Cerasuolo (the word means “cherry”) its body and richness, while Frappato adds aromatics and acidity. Ruby red color. Fruity and intense nose with hints of pomegranate, raspberry and crushed flowers. On the palate it opens with a fresh acidity and predominant notes of small red fruit, cherry and raspberry. Good body with a pleasant long finish.
2012 Feudi del Pisciotto “Versace” Nero d’Avola, Terre Siciliane IGT $30.00
Nero d’Avola is the grape variety that best represents Sicily’s winemaking identity. This wine, obtained from grapes scrupulously chosen from the estate finest selection, expresses an absolute purity, an extraordinary elegance and a great aging potential.
Deep ruby red. Complex and intense nose with notes of red fruit, currants, blueberries and cherries, together with dark spicy and toasty sensations coming from the aging in oak. Rich, structured and velvety sip with a polished aftertaste of fruit and sweet spice.
2011 Feudi del Pisciotto “Valentino” Merlot, Terre Siciliane IGT $30.00
Born from one of the oldest winery vineyards, this Merlot achieves all the potentials and character of the variety in a fantastic expression of the Sicilian “terroir”. A wine of great elegance combined with remarkable structure and power. Deep ruby red. Earthy and vegetal nose of black olive with notes of black fruit and ample spices underneath. Good structure with an elegant, welcoming
character, and a fruity and spicy lingering finish.
2012 Rocca di Frasinello “Le Sughere di Frasinello” (Sangioveto/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot), Maremma Toscana DOC $35.00
This wine takes its name from the cork trees (“sughero” in Italian) that surround the vineyard. A wine of great character, the native Sangioveto and the international varietals Cabernet and Merlot are blended together to realize an ideal Italian-French wine. Deep ruby red color. Le Sughere di Frassinello bursts from the glass with an exciting melange of sweet red cherries, herbs, licorice and tobacco. It shows lovely mid-palate depth in a medium-bodied, sleek style supported by firm yet well-integrated tannins.
2011 Rocca di Frasinello “Ornello” (Sangioveto/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah), Maremma Toscana DOC $39.00
The image used on the label represents the “Maremma cowboy” a symbol of elegance and strength typical of Maremma. Still today, Ornello is the name of the wooden lance used to move cattle. The only Rocca di Frassinello wine with Syrah, this wine has a full and rich character with a nice elegance and freshness, typical of the winery style. Deep ruby red. On the nose it is intense and complex with notes of spices, mint, and chocolate. On the palate the wine, savory and long, is full-bodied and round with supple and velvety tannins.