93 Insider Points & " A Neil Top Pick"
91 Points, Wine Spectator (Top 100 in 2014, Rank 87)
Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri - "3 Glass" Award Winner"
93 Insider Points & "A Neil Top Pick":
"Alluring rustic hue draws one into a bowl of massive black fruit and szechuan spice. A second wave of licorice, black olives, smoky meats and crushed rocks follows. An almost mole note and quince paste gets picked up on the backend with cigar ash and sweet tobacco on the finish. A more entry-level Firriato that is a serious drinker especially now that it has had a few years of bottle age." - Neil Mecahnic, Invino
91 Points, Wine Spector (Top 100 in 2014, Rank 87):
"Aromas and flavors of bacon fat and mesquite smoke mix with ripe black cherry, licorice snap, mocha and mint in this expressive red, with fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity. Elegant through to the aromatic, coffee-tinged finish. Nero d'Avola and Syrah. Drink now through 2024."
This bottling has received the prestigeous Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" 3 times in 11 releases. The other vintages received the "Two-Glass" Award. Not a shabby track record!
If you are drawn to the unique wines of Southern Italy and the Islands then you need to have Firriato Winery on your short list. I have featured their wines in the past, but the 2011 “Santagostino” (50/50 Blend of Syrah and native Nero d’Avola) took me by surprise for its meatiness and mélange of spice seasoning. It certainly over delivers for the price and it’s ready for your drinking pleasure.
Firriatos were very influential in bringing Sicilian wines to where they are today. They really started back in the early 1980s and now they're a “power house” that offers an array of wines from different parts of Sicily. The “Santagostino” is sourced from a single site (Baglio Soria) that experiences extreme heat in the day, but cool nights. The extreme variance in temperature is key to its exotic and gorgeous flavor profile.
I’ve tasted other Syrah and Nero d’Avola blends from Sicily, but this one speaks out with a heap of soul and complexity. You’ll want to showcase this effort with some slow roasted meats such as some backyard barbecue or with a more refined lamb preparations.
Winery Tasting Notes:
Colour: deep, impenetrable ruby red with intense shades of purple.
Nose: concentrated and well defined nuances of Marasca cherries, fruits of the forest, rhubarb, cloves, aromatic herbs and plums, alternating and intertwining with appealing scents of liquorice, ink and tobacco leaves.
Palate: smooth, soft and caressing, it displays great personality with a strong Mediterranean nature, combining with admirable harmony a strong and exuberant structure, extraordinary vivacity of flavour and velvety smooth tannins of rare nobility.
Characteristics: this wine is part of the history of modern-day Sicilian wine making, long since admired in international markets, complex and of superior quality, it is extremely drinkable and pleasant, with an almost meaty fruitiness, a champion in its category.
FIRRIATO is one of the "Power Houses" of Sicilian winemaking. In the beginning of the 80's, Salvatore and Vinzia had a dream of bringing Sicilian wines to high quality standards. Since then this tenacious-entrepreneurial couple, with the help of top enologist Giuseppe Pellegrino, created a range of wines that suit the most refined palates. All of their wines are a mix of tradition and innovation, a mix of indigenous and international varieties that throughout the years defined Sicily as perfect land.
You’ll want to showcase this effort with some slow roasted meats such as some backyard barbecue or with a more refined lamb preparations.