- Farming MethodOrganic Practices
Planeta Nocera Sicily 2019
Price drops to $24.95 per bottle when you purchase 6 or more!
Nocera is just one of those grapes that you almost never see – even as the wines of Sicily have become as popular as they’ve ever been (outside of Italy, at least)! This is a remarkable expression of an obscure grape – from one of the best vintages for this corner of Sicily ever! For UNDER $25...this is a crazy-cool red to have with your next night by the grill!
Set on the ‘spur' of northeastern Sicily, La Baronia is the smallest of Planeta’s five estates. 8 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by 20 hectares of olive groves on a skinny little peninsula that is only a stone’s throw (literally) from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Lucifero family that had long owned the parcel was admittedly unable to maintain this ancient vineyard site, and it had deteriorated almost to the point of extinction. In 2011, Planeta oversaw an ambitious restoration project – choosing to focus on small, organically farmed plots of unique heritage varieties such as nocera. The vineyard has responded fantastically, and this supremely smooth nocera is the happy result.
Fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel, this remarkably dark wine only spends a total of 10 days on its skin. The grape’s characteristic deep ruby hue nevertheless contains a tremendously bright and pretty aroma and flavor profile – where the close proximity to the sea, and extreme volcanic influences of Mount Etna can be clearly demonstrated. The vineyard’s soil is mostly alluvial granite debris, and silt, which is then covered by 50-60 centimeters of volcanic ash, blown over through the centuries from Mount Etna – some twenty miles south. Floral elegance of rose and geranium, with a structure of crumbled rock and white pepper, enveloped by a core of plum, cherries, raspberries, figs, and plums. Medium in weight, high-toned aromatics, and minerally, bright acidity make for an absolutely supreme food wine.
The 2019 vintage was challenging in that yields were down by some 20% due to early season conditions, but in all other ways, it seems to have been one of the most amazing seasons in the province of Messina – with an exceptional quality that more than compensated the grape growers for their efforts. The north-east of Sicily tends to be wet in September, but in 2019 the weather was almost perfect, and the harvest was impeccably smooth throughout. As such, the 2019 Nocera was expressive and intense as it perhaps never has been before! Get a bottle of this, you won’t be sorry...and drink it right away, ‘cause you’re certainly going to want more!
PAIRING IDEAS: Something grilled, and something lean...I’m going with a marinated pork tenderloin – in a house-made marinade of white wine, honey, apricot jam, black pepper, and rosemary. Grill it over medium heat so the sugars caramelize but don’t burn, and pull it off at medium and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve it up with braised red cabbage and glazed Thumbelina carrots.