The last time I met with Alessio Planeta and tasted through his wines was in 2015. So I was overdue for a new tasting, and this time it would include a lesson, a luncheon and a wine glass made especially for the wines!
The Mouth-Watering Invite
I’d like to invite you to join us for a special “MasterGlass” experience hosted by Alessio Planeta, co-owner/lead winemaker for Sicily’s Planeta winery…Alessio will take us through a formal tasting of various expressions of Nero d’Avola from four different regions/terroirs across Sicily: Noto, Menfi, Vittoria and Capo Milazzo. Italian fine dining legend Piero Selvaggio will provide insight…“MasterGlass” comes in to play because the tasting will be conducted using glasses designed by Riedel specifically for Planeta and Nero d’Avola. The tasting will include a vertical of Planeta’s top Nero d’Avola, Santa Cecilia: 2013, 2007, 2005.
Alessio – along with Piero – had joined together to share what Alessio called the “Sicily of the present and the past.” Alessio began by telling his audience that to fully immerse themselves in the culture of Sicily he highly recommended the book, Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey. (From Amazon: Inspired by a deep passion for wine, an Italian heritage, and a desire for a land somewhat wilder than his home in southern France, Robert V. Camuto set out to explore Sicily s emerging wine scene. What he discovered during more than a year of traveling the region, however, was far more than a fascinating wine frontier.)
We also learned:
- The wine grape Nero d’Avola is comparable to other grapes grown in other regions of the world, for example Sangiovese from Tuscany.
- Harvest is a 3-month process in Sicily.
- Planeta Winery prefers to keep alcohol levels to 13.4% or 13.5%, as high “alcohol is not for long aging.”
- In the four areas where they have vineyards, each has a different culture as well as a different terroir influenced by both soil and sea.
- There were no wines from Sicily when he opened Valentino’s Santa Monica over four decades ago.
- There were two Italys – and when he immigrated people automatically assumed he had mafia affiliations.
- With Planeta’s rise beginning 20 years ago there is a new Sicily and development on the Island.
- “Tuscany is out – and Sicily is now the place to be” for wines.
The Tasting – aromas and flavors separate by ;
Cerasuola di Vittoria 2015
Cerasuola di Vittoria DOCG
Crushed red cherries, mushroom, stems, rich minerality, green peppercorn; light, bright cherry and strawberry.
Cerasuola di Vittoria CLASSICO DOCG
Cherry liqueur, red fruit, layered spice, pleasant aromatics; red fruit again, nicely balanced with the spice and a medium finish.
A great nose filled with blueberry, milk chocolate, sweet port and dust; rich red to blue fruit, dry and dusty finish.
Santa Cecilia 2013
Black fruit, black pepper, stewed mushroom, Bolognese sauce, perfumy; very dry, dark fruit, oak and tannins.
Santa Cecilia 2007 – MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE IN THE TASTING
Dried blue fruit, crushed leaves, liqueur and Port qualities, rich soil; big, bold, dry dark fruit and pepper.
Santa Cecilia 2005
Incense, forest floor, red-blue-black fruit; rich, layered fruit and spice.
Details on all of the wines can be found here: https://planeta.it/en/wine/
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com