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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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