Petit with jet black hair, Gianna generously poured us the last of her wines left at the Fiera Golosaria 2012 in Milan. The buzz was going around about this incredible tiny production of Sicilian wine from the winery Guccione. Just like you would expect from Sicily, we became friends right off the bat and Gianna was kind enough to send us a taste of some of their wines. I was anxiously awaiting this package throughout the Christmas break but it was only after a few months that it finally made its way to my doorstep. The patience was worth it and for just a few hours, we transported ourselves to the warm and mediterranean climate and tasted new wines never before experienced.

#1 Girgis Catarratto


Apparently the Catarratto grape is one of the most planted white grapes in all of Italy (even if I have never heard of it) and it is almost hardly ever found outside Sicily. This one coming from Guccione is from a higher quality variety called Catarratto Bianco Lucido which can sometimes be compared to Viognier with spicy, beeswaxy aromas.

The name just oddly reminded me of “cataracts” but I suppose its blinding golden color is so bright and intense it could give you “cataracts”! I got lots of lemons and “cedro” on this with a note of homemade cinnamon applesauce and almost an ashy smoky note on the palate even though it is fermented and aged in steel. Could it be from volcanic soils? Full and dry, this is an intense white wine to drink with some substantial Sicilian food. We chose a tomato based seafood pasta and it was fantastic!

#2 Gibril Nerello Mascalese

Just the idea of knowing there are very few bottles of these wines, about 4,000 of each type and knowing that they are natural unfiltered wines, makes tasting these even so much more exciting.

On the nose I could smell dried cherries, slightly earthy, twiggy, with an iron taste that could be attributed to a mineral rich soil?. It was full bodied but with nice spice. Perfect to cuddle up with during the snowy winter days.


#3 Arturo di Lanzeria Perricone

Last but not least is the AHHHHHH-MAZZZZ-INNGGGGG Perricone. This is normally a blending grape in Sicily but this is it in all its purity and it is noteworthy for sure!

Just its cool shaped bottle was intriguing enough for me! As it opened up throughout the meal it kept changing and changing. My friend Matteo kept going in for one more taste because it was pretty surprising even for him (a Somm). We smelled and tasted everything from spices like juniper, cinnamon and other Asian spices, dried apricots, candied fruit and dried blueberries. “Managgia” what a wine!

With Gianna’s friendly face in mind, dreaming of warm Sicily and tasting these natural organic wines has been a special treat. The best part is that these wines are totally affordable so if you ever get a chance to taste … do it!

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