What the Geeks are Drinking

Esoteric wine making mainstream moves


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And finally here's my contribution: Perricone. Sicily has been on fire as of late with much of the attention due to the fabulous wines grown on Mount Etna from the Nerello grapes. While those are absolutely world class wines they are in danger of becoming mainstream, which means the geeks need to move on to the next great thing. For me that may very well be Perricone, which comes from the western side of Sicily, about as far from Mount Etna as one can get and yet remain on the island. There is very little perricone produced from fewer than 400 hectares of vineyard under cultivation but what I've tried has really intrigued me.

Perricone, which also goes by the name Pignatello, is said to be an offspring of Sangiovese though in a way I find that it has more similarities with Nebbiolo. It's not a particularly large scaled wine, though it is well structured with plenty of acidity and aggressive tannins supporting berry fruit that can be quite clear and precise or rather rich and powerful depending on the producer. Aromatically there are hints of violets and tobacco, and all to often toasty oak, all adding interest. Truth be told I have not had enough Perricone to really feel as though I have even a modest understanding of the grape, which is why it tops my list of grapes to geek out with this coming winter. Anybody want to follow my lead?

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