On the southern tip of Sicily, the Fuedo Maccari estate of Antonio Moretti basks in the hot Sicilian sun, just a mile from the sea. Its southerly facing bush vines lie on the hillsides adjacent to the town of Noto.
Moretti already owned the vineyards in Tuscany – the Tenuta Sette Ponti, which he took over from his father and the Poggio al Lupo, a Maremma estate that he purchased in 1999. In 2000 he assembled the Fuedo Maccari from more than 50 separate plots with his daughter Antonia.
The distinctive terroir consists of extremely fertile volcanic soil, as demonstrated by the profusion of lemon and olive groves, carob trees and flowering almonds. The vineyards lie 240 feet above sea level, and the climate is so hot that spraying for pests and mildew is virtually unknown. The vines are 30-60 years old, with low yields maintained.
We have chosen a couple of lovely fruit-driven wines, which clearly demonstrate the quality and individuality of the indigenous grape varieties – the white floral Grillo and the warm and inviting red Nero d’Avola grape.
Fuedo Maccari, Grillo 2016
This is one the best wines made from the Grillo that we have found in many years. It is fresh and floral on the nose, with hints of almonds. On the palate it is a multi-layered wine with ripe peach flavours, a soft texture and an almond/mineral finish.
An exceptional example of one of Italy’s unsung white grape varieties.
Fuedo Maccari, Nero d’Avola 2015
A bright youthful purple leads into an inviting nose of elderberry and cherry fruit. The palate doesn’t disappoint, with a supple mouthful of ripe cherry and damson fruit, underpinned with soft tannin and fresh acidity.
A soft, approachable red that slips down all too easily, but it still has depth and complexity!
Contessa – Azienda Agricola di Rocco Pasetti
Still in Southern Italy, but this time in the Abruzzo region, in the hills northwest of Pescara is one the best vineyard zones of the area. Rocco Pasetti owns the 25 hectare Contesa vineyard, which was reborn in the year 2000. The name ‘contesa’ translated means ‘contention’ – his great grandfather went to court with his neighbour over a longstanding vineyard dispute.
There are two ranges – the Caparrone wines, which are modern and delightfully easy to drink, and the Contesa range, which is produced from only the best grapes from selected parcels. We have gone for the vibrant white Pecorino, an indigenous variety that nearly became extinct until it was recently revived. For the red, we have chosen the more complex Caparrone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
Caparrone Pecorino 2016
IGT Colline Pescaresi
This early-ripening, thin-skinned variety tends to be triangular in shape, reminiscent of the shape of a sheep’s head, which is said to the origin of the grape’s name. Pale in colour, it has a citrus nose with hints of hawthorn and orange blossom. In the mouth it is soft with fresh stone fruit flavours, nice concentration and a citrus finish.
Slips down a treat!
Contesa Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015
DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
The carefully selected grapes from special parcels are vinified traditionally, and then aged for 12 months in oak botti. The resulting wine is deep in colour, with a vibrant aroma of ripe black fruits. On the palate it is bursting with black and morello cherries, notes of almonds and toast. It is beautifully balanced with ripe tannins and fresh acidity, and finishes with a hint of dark chocolate.
Immediately enjoyable with much more complexity than the average Montepulciano.
Enjoy a Mixed Dozen of all four wines for only £102.00