Tuesday, July 28, 2009
VintageVino Pick of the Day: Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria, 2006
Alrighty then. Finally back from Italy and so last night I decided to cook some dishes based on a few of the meals that I enjoyed in Florence and Sicily. I brought back some capers and olive oil from Sicily which, combined with my other veggies and herbs from the garden, helped lend an authentic taste to my pasta. To accompany this (as well as to try and keep my memories of the trip lingering a bit longer) I picked a Sicilian red from the well regarded producer Planeta. The Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG is actually the only DOCG currently produced in Sicily, and is located in the southeast corner of Sicily around the town of Vittoria, not far from Ragousa. The DOCG requires that 40% of the wine be made from the local red grape Frappato (which is where the cerasuolo or cherry part of the name comes from) with the remaining 60% typically coming from Nero d'Avola; 10% Nerello Mascalese is allowed, too.
The Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria, 2006, is exactly this blend of 40%/60% Frappato and Nero d'Avola. I found that the deeper fruits of the Nero d'Avola really shine in this wine. The Frappato though is not lost. In fact, there is an immediate bright (cherry) fruit component that dominates the aromatics, but then gives way to the blacker, earthier fruits of the Nero on the palate. The wine worked very well with my pasta dish, which included the aforementioned capers as well as basil, parsley, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and eggplant - all the typical things you would find in am Italian/Sicilian dish. The pasta was light and fresh so the wine did not overwhelm it, but rather combined and complimented the flavors well. There is good acidity (from the Frappato), which helped to add freshness on the palate and balance to the spicy olive oil and tangy capers. I think this wine would work well with grilled fish, as well.