Rediscovering a Sicilian white wine
A recent post by my friend Susannah Gold on how the wines of Lombardy are often overlooked reminded me of how we sometimes discover “new” wines, even when the wines aren’t really new.
Such is the case with me with Inzolia, an ancient grape from Sicily (also grown in Tuscany where it’s known as Ansonica) but one I remember tasting only once, two years ago during a quick pass through the Sicily pavilion at VinItaly.
I’m not even sure of the winery, since I’ve lost that part of my notebook, but I suspect it was d’Alessandro Azienda Agricola, a fairly new winery (founded 2006) near Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily. In any case, it was d’Alessandro’s Inzolia I most recently tasted and now I wonder how I forgot about it.
Late winter isn’t usually conducive to drinking white wine but this winter has been surprisingly mild, with little snow and already we have temperatures reaching into the mid-60s. It’s mild enough for pulling the cork on d’Allessandro’s 2009 Inzolia IGT ($15).
My tasting notes recall a bit of citrus, almonds and white peach, which are extensive notes for me. The hint of minerality and crisp acidity makes this a delicious food wine, and given Agrigento’s position on a cliff above the Mediterranean Sea, it’s suitable the winemaker says Inzolia pairs perfectly with fish and sea food.
Also, the low alcohol (12 percent) makes it something you can enjoy mid-day without needing a recuperative nap afterwards. I also tasted d’Alessandro’s delightful medium-bodied Nero d’Avola, with hints of plum, blackberry and licorice. Also of note, d’Alessandro was the recipient of Gambero Rosso’s 2011 Best Label Award.