Tag Archives: Planeta

Wine of the week: Planeta La Segreta Rosso 2010

How much of an impact is Sicily making on the wine world? Terlato Wines, which prides itself on its “luxury wines,” is the new importer for one of my favorite cheap Sicilian brands, Cusumano. That Terlato, whose brands include wines that cost as much as $100, sees a future in Sicily speaks to the quality and value available on the island. What Terlato will do to the price of Cusumano, sadly, is another story.

Let’s hope that Terlato, or another “luxury” importer, doesn’t find out about Planeta, whose wines are equally as well done as Cusumano. The La Segreta ($8, purchased, 13%) is a red blend – which includes the very un-Sicilian cabernet franc — that again shows how far Sicily has come from the old days.

Think of it as a Super Sicilian, the island’s version of the Winestream Media-approved Super Tuscan blend. The Segreta combines merlot, syrah, and the cabernet franc with Sicily’s signature nero d’avola, so it isn’t as dark and earthy as other Sicilian reds, but fruitier and richer. Who thought those adjectives would ever be used in a review of Sicilian wine?

But there isn’t too much cherry fruit, and there is still zingy Italian-style acid to provide balance. Even more surprising is that the wine needs food, which isn’t supposed to happen with something that costs $8. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Wine Hall of Fame.

Wine of the week: Planeta La Segreta Bianco 2010

segreta_bianco4Eight labels from Sicily have been wines of the week since the blog started. The only question: Why haven’t there been more?

Because Sicilian wine may offer the best value in the world, and that includes my much beloved Gascon white blends. Sicilian wines show just how much winemaking has improved throughout the world in the past 20 years, thanks to better technology and improved education. The days of slimy concrete tanks and dirty hoses are almost gone.

As the the Planeta ($8, purchased, 12.5%) demonstrates. I don’t know why I keep being surprised by the quality of these wines, but I am. It’s not so much that this is another amazing Sicilian white blend, but that it is so different, without the minerality and austerity of the others. Instead, there is a big dollop of white fruit, surrounded by some white pepper and an almost oily richness. In this, it’s a Sicilian version of a French Rhone blend.

And why not? The wine is made with grecanico, a traditional Sicilian grape, but also chardonnay and vigonier. The latter is a classic Rhone grape, though not much grown in Sicily. It does its job here. Drink this chilled on its own, or with any summer meal.

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