Two Days In Sicily

Last Sunday, we embarked for a quick tour of Sicily organised by our friends at Caves de Pyrene, where we visited the estates of Ceuso near Alcamo, Marco De Bartoli in Marsala and Caruso e Minini also in Marsala. Ceuso is a 30-ha estate owned and run by brothers Antonino, Giuseppe and Vincenzo Melia who took over and rebuild this estate in 1990. Only two wines are produced by this dynamic team and they are very fine and serious expressions of Nero d`Avola. Scurati a 100% Nero d`Avola and Ceuso, a blend of Nero d`Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Marco de Bartoli is regarded as one of the two greatest Marsala producer, an organic and minutious approach in both viticulture and vinification which stands light years from the large Marsala producing companies. The wines tasted there were nothing short of extraordinary. Dry whites made with the local varieties Grillo and Zibibbo, Marsala Superiore, Bukkuram, a sweet wine made from sun-dried Moscato grapes and the sublime Vecchio Samperi Ventennale made using the Solera method. The tasting was accompanied by a superb lunch served and prepared by the de Bartoli family. A truly great moment. No doubt, we will have a selection of these wines on our shelves very soon. The last tasting was at the rather large operation Caruso e Minini who produce modern, clean and very affordable wines using, once again, a myriad of local grapes such as Grecanico, Inzolia, Grillo, Catarratto and Perricone. These wines were more predictable in one way, but one must admits that they were very honestly made and certainly represented great value. The welcome of the Caruso family at dinner in a Marsala restaurant was second to none. In all it was a great trip, albeit too short as always, and it was perfectly organised and guided by Dario and Thierry of Les Caves de Pyrene.
Pascal Rossignol

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