The 2018 Pietradonice, a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon from the south-east of Montalcino, is dark as it grumbles up from the glass, showing dusty rose, currents, cherries and smoke. This is velvety in feel yet wonderfully lifted and fresh, steadily building in tannic heft yet packed full of graphite-like mineral-tinged black fruits and dark inner florals. A hint of sour citrus keeps you coming back for more even as the Pietradonice flexes its structural heft. Give the 2018 five to seven years before attempting to enjoy the full potential buried within.
The 2019 Barbera d'Alba Scarrone Vigna Vecchia naturally has a bit more volume and richness than the straight Scarrone, but the two wines are not that different in terms of personality. All the elements are dialed up to eleven. This sumptuous, flashy Barbera from 100+ year-old vines is a winner.
A nebbiolo that shows lots of Mediterranean spices and herbs, together with strawberries, dried earth and minerals. A medium-bodied, textured palate, showing dried-herb savoriness on the transparent but austere center-palate. Firm, savory and dry. Drink or hold.
Black walnut husk, game and truffle chocolate to the plums and dark cherries. Medium- to full-bodied palate with firm and fine-grained tannins that glide through to a juicy, bright finish. Lovely austerity here will help it hold. From organically grown grapes. Drink or keep.
Showing dark plum, ripe fruit, charred meat and scorched earth, the Tenuta Sallier de la Tour 2018 Monreale Syrah La Monaca is a perfect match of grape and territory. Syrah loves a hot climate, and Sicily loves Syrah. This is a robust and powerful expression of the grape that has absorbed much of the Sicilian sun, yet it remains elegantly mid-weight and contained throughout. This would be great with some grilled lamb sausage.
The 2018 Syrah La Monaca is an inky purple color in the glass. It offers a dark and seductive bouquet that mixes blackberries and plum sauce with balsamic spice, brown sugar and hints of peppery herbs. Its textures are silky-smooth, casting ripe black fruits over a medium-bodied frame. The density and richness here tempt the imagination as fine tannins and minerals saturate under an air of violet florals. This finishes incredibly long, to notes of salted licorice and currants. The La Monaca is already highly enjoyable for its concentration and sheer potential, but it will blossom after a few years of cellaring. These vines were planted in 2011 in a mix of sand, clay and limestone at the Sallier de La Tour estate in the northwest section of the island. Considering how well the 2018 is showing, I can only imagine what more vine age will bring.
EDITOR'S CHOICE Savory and inviting, this has alluring scents of wild berries, citrus, Mediterranean brush and sea breeze. It's crisp, dry and delicious, delivering juicy Morello cherry, pomegranate and dark spice notes set against crisp acidity.