Showing posts with label Cataratto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cataratto. Show all posts

Monday, November 8, 2010


Murgo Etna Bianco

A favorite spot for lunch should have two things, in my family’s estimation: great Italian food and great Italian wine.  As Denise and I have found on many occasionsIl Buco in Beverly Hills has those bases covered, and throws in fabulous service for a culinary hat trick.  It is the one restaurant in Southern California which has never let us down.  The food is always perfect and the wines seem to be chosen for their list with great care.

The Murgo estate has been producing wine since 1850.  Local varieties are used - in the case of this intense white, 70% Caricante and 30% Cataratto - and the Sicilian location southeast of the Mt. Etna volcano gives the grapes tremendous aromatics and tons of minerality.

There’s a huge mineral-laden nose on this wine and the taste is full and rich, with green apple and pineapple, both trying to escape from underneath a pile of wet rocks.  The acidity is razor-sharp and there’s a citrus zest flavor on the brilliant finish.

I had the Murgo with a grilled calamari steak salad, and it tasted great, if you like your flavors intense.  The intensity of the wine was actually almost too much for the gentle calamari.  With a tuna and anchovie salad, I think this would be just about a perfect match.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Vasari Sicilia Bianco Mistral 2008

A recent trip to 55 Degree Wine in Atwater Village allowed me to net a few delightful surprises.  They have a store full of small-production wines from all over the world, with an emphasis on Italian, Spanish and Portuguese wines.

Vasari Mistral white is a Sicilian IGT wine which utilizes native Sicilian grapes - 40% Cataratto, 40% Inzolia and 20% Grillo.  The Vasari family has grown grapes in the hills of Santa Lucia del Mela, Italy for 1000 years, according to their website.

Catarratto is the most widespread grape variety grown in Sicily.  It’s a native grape, the second most widely planted in Sicily after Sangiovese.  Inzolia typically has fruity and floral aromas.

This white wine has a vibrant gold color, spicy floral aromas and a full-bodied mouthfeel.  It tastes of slightly sour lemon candy - especially on the finish, which seems to last forever.  There is also a rather unusual savory aspect which I find very intriguing.  The alcohol level is a moderate 12.5% abv.