|Grapes||Nero d’Avola, Nerello Cappucio, Nerello Mascalese, Nocera|
|District||IGP Terre Sicilliane|
A stunning pair of wines (with the 2017 PELORO Rosso Le Casematte) north-east coast of Sicily based on the Etna grapes Nerello plus the local Nocera. This one is a real charmer, aged for six months in old oak, while 2017 FARO Rosso DOC Le Casematte is a little more serious. Both are distinctively savoury, impressively persistent and reasonably priced for the quality. Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Dec 2020)
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This delicious red is made from 55% Nerello Mascalese, 25% Nerello Capuccio, 10% Nocera and Nero d'Avola aged for 18 months in older French oak tonneaux. Sleekly aromatic nose, cherries, raspberries, mocha, herbs and wild flowers. Good acid lift, rich core of tannins, lots of ripe fleshy red fruits, cherries, macerated strawberries and mocha. Not heavy at all but persistent and with great length. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025L&S (Jun 2020)
The 2017 Faro captivates the senses with a darkly alluring bouquet of ripe plums, rich brown spice and hints of cacao and tobacco. This is silky and pliant in feel, motivated by brisk acids, as a display of mineral-tinged black fruits and savory herbs fleshes out across the palate. A subtle coating of fine tannin frames the expression nicely as the 2017 finishes with persistence, resonating on inner earth notes and florals and a hint of blueberry skins and sour citrus. This is gorgeous today, yet it also possesses medium-term cellaring potential. Le Casematte Faro is a blend of 55% Nerello Mascalese, 25% Nerello Cappuccio, 10% Nocera and 10% Nero d’Avola. Drinking range: 2021 - 2030 Rating: 93 Eric Guido, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)
Pale garnet. Earthy, penetrating nose and a charming sweet palate. Fruitier than Corney’s Etna red. Real wine with a beginning, middle and end. Masses of personality and not a ridiculous price. Impressively long. GV Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Oct 2020)
There can't be too many wine estates named after WWII gun emplacements, but the three concrete casemattes among the vines designed to protect the Strait of Messina have indeed inspired the name of Le Casematte - "a place where grapevines have supplanted death" they say on their web-site, probably quite profound. Le Casematte was founded in 2008 by former footballer Andrea Barzagli and accountant Gianfranco Sabbatino. The vines are in the north of Sicily, with vineyards rising to 500m above sea-level, and northerly exposures helping to mitigate the southern sun-shine. They are committed to organic farming.
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