Wine Culture and Information since 2002 - Volume 20
×
Home Page Events Wine Guide Wine of the Day Aquavitae Wine Places Guide Podcast Polls EnoGames EnoForum Serving Wine Alcohol Test
DiWineTaste on Twitter DiWineTaste on Instagram DiWineTaste Mobile for Android DiWineTaste Mobile for iOS Become a Registered User Subscribe to the Mailing List Tell a Friend About DiWineTaste Download DiWineTaste Card
About Us Write Us Back Issues Advertising General Index
Privacy Policy
 
☰ Menu


 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 207, June 2021   
Contrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia MerlotContrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 206, May 2021 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 208, Summer 2021

Contrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot

One of the most famous wine made in Piacenza compared to a monovarietal wine from Sicily, produced with the most famous and celebrated international red berried grape

 Emilia-Romagna and Sicily. Two regions that are very different in every aspect, especially from the climatic, viticultural and wine making points of view. Even the respective traditions and enological histories are distant and different, the vineyards are colored with grapes and varieties typical and identifying in the respective regions, the wines are historically and traditionally produced in different styles. In Emilia-Romagna, in fact, the enological history – which is common to all areas of the very large Po Valley – is characterized by a wealth of stingy and alive wines, therefore sparkling, a tradition that is still common today in the whole region. In Emilia-Romagna, of course, are produced not only sparkling wines and today these joyful wines – the family of magnificent Lambrusco grapes above all – are richly supported by the production of dry and still wines of equal fame and quality.

 Sicily, of course, is no less in terms of enological tradition and history. The climate and the enological culture of the largest Italian island has however led to the birth of wines very different from those of Emilia-Romagna: here the story mainly speaks about wines from dried grapes and oxidative wines, Marsala above all. In Sicily, of course, there has never been a lack of dry table wines, a production characteristic that is still fundamental and significant for the region today. In this regard, it should be noted that a very important experimental movement took place in Sicily with the aim of studying and identifying the viticultural and enological potential of many varieties in its territory, including the so-called international grapes. In Sicily, in fact, the cultivation of international varieties is nowadays as common as the cultivation of the many native grapes, often blended to local varieties in the production of wines as well as used alone.

 

Gutturnio Classico Superiore


 

 Although viticulture and wine production in the Piacenza area has ancient origins, the history of Gutturnio wine – the most famous and celebrated one of these lands – has a relatively recent history. There are many historical proofs telling about of the presence of the vine in the territory of Piacenza and dating back to the times of the ancient Romans, there are many documents and proofs about the quality of the wines of this territory and, last but not least, also appreciated in other areas of the Roman Empire. In any case, these wines were completely different from those produced today and which are identified with the name Gutturnio, both for production methods and for the grapes used. Gutturnio takes its name from a jug in use in ancient Rome – the gutturnium – made of silver and with a volume of about two liters. This jug was used at the end of a banquet and passed among the diners, who drank in turn from the same gutturnium as a sign of friendship and fraternity. This jug has become inextricably linked with the Piacenza wine after the discovery of a gutturnium during the excavations of the ancient Roman village Veleia around the end of the 1800s.

 It was around the end of the 1930s that it was decided to call the wine of Piacenza with the name of the Roman libation jug. The history of the grapes used for the production of Gutturnio is also relatively recent. The famous wine of Piacenza is produced with Barbera – 55 to 70% – and the remaining part of Croatina, the latter locally called Bonarda, according to the custom of the western Po Valley, and has no connection with the true and homonymous Piedmontese variety. The cultivation of these two grapes in the Piacenza area is quite recent and they have assumed primary importance only after the reconstruction of the vineyards following the devastation caused by phylloxera. Specifically, Barbera was introduced in these lands in the mid-1800s, while Croatina at the beginning of the 1900s, becoming common and spread starting from the 1930s. According to the production disciplinary, Gutturnio is produced in the frizzante (sparkling), superiore, classico superiore, riserva and classico riserva styles. For our tasting, we will examine Gutturnio Classico Superiore.

 

Sicilia Merlot

 Sicily has a remarkable ampelographic richness, made of both native and international varieties, the latter introduced on the island following the experimentation that took place in Sicily with the aim of identifying the most promising and profitable grapes in enological terms. The result of this activity has been the vast spreading of many international varieties throughout the territory of Sicily, also introducing in the island varieties, so to speak, that could be seen as unsuitable for this territory – such as Pinot Noir, Müller Thurgau and Sauvignon Blanc – and which here gave origin to interesting wine making interpretations. This also included, of course, Merlot and which today is among the main international red berried varieties mainly cultivated in Sicily, together with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The expression of these varieties in Sicily is – all too obvious – strongly affected by the typical climate of the island, producing interpretations that are, not only very distant from their lands of origin, but also from the rest of Italy.

 The spreading of international varieties in Sicily has been huge and involved the entire wine production of the island, in some respects, even to completely change it when compared to the past, not only blended to the typical indigenous varieties but also permitted in many DOC production disciplinary of Sicily. The success of international varieties in Sicily is however undeniable and the wines produced here with these grapes prove the good adaptation to this land even with an interesting personality. The climate of course plays a fundamental role, in particular the high temperatures that cause the accentuation of certain “round” characteristics of the wines, a quality which is evident, in particular, in those produced with Merlot and Chardonnay. The famous Bordeaux red grape, among the many international varieties cultivated in Sicily, is the variety we will examine in this tasting, putting it in contrast with Gutturnio.

 

The Tasting


The
color of Gutturnio Classico Superiore
The color of Gutturnio Classico Superiore

 Before pouring the wines of this month's tasting by contrast, let's proceed with the choice of the bottles we will examine. For both wines, the respective production disciplinary – both Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot are recognized as Denomazione d'Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin, DOC) – provides for the possible aging in wooden containers. Our choice will be oriented towards wines produced exclusively using inert containers, in particular the stainless steel tank. As for the composition, we will choose a Gutturnio Classico Superiore produced with the maximum allowed quantity of Barbera, therefore 70%, and the remaining Croatina, as these are the only two grapes legally allowed for the production of the wine of Piacenza. As for Sicilia Merlot, we will make sure it is produced exclusively with this grape, while noting that – as this is something usually happening – the disciplinary provides, for mono varietal wines, the minimum use of 85% of the grapes declared in label. Both wines belong to the most recent vintages and served in tasting glasses at a temperature of 18 °C. (65 °F)

 Let's pour Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot into their respective tasting glasses and begin the evaluation of the appearance of the two wines, starting with the one from Piacenza. We tilt the glass over a white surface – a sheet of paper is enough – and observe the base, where the thickness of the wine is greater. We can observe a brilliant and intense ruby red color and, by placing a contrasting object between the glass and the white surface, we can detect a moderate transparency. Let's now observe the nuances of Gutturnio Classico Superiore, let's then focus our attention towards the opening of the glass, where the thickness of the wine is thinner. In the wine of Piacenza we can see an intense ruby red nuance, therefore confirming the base color. Let's move on to the observation of Sicilia Merlot and, by tilting the glass over the white surface, let's evaluate the color at the base. The color of the Sicilian wine is intense ruby red and, in general, darker than Gutturnio Classico Superiore. Transparency, after having placed a contrasting object under the glass, is moderate and generally lower than the wine of Piacenza. The nuance of the Sicilia Merlot, observed towards the opening of the glass, confirms the ruby red color.

 Barbera, Coratina and Merlot. Three different grapes in every respect, from the viticultural one to the respective sensorial qualities. Moreover, if we add to this the influence of the territory and, no less important, the interpretation of those who make wine, the distance is further accentuated. Barbera and Croatina – this last known in the western Po Valley as Bonarda and not to be confused with the real Piedmontese Bonarda – makes wines which are often characterized by aromas reminiscent of red pulp fruits, in particular cherry, raspberry, strawberry, often combined with blueberry, blackberry and plum. Among the most frequent floral recognitions, in Gutturnio Classico Superiore we perceive violet and rose. The olfactory profile of wines produced with Merlot – the famous red berried grape of Bordeaux – have a very different olfactory profile, which are mainly characterized by aromas of dark pulp fruits, especially black currant, black cherry and plum, a characteristic also found in Sicilia Merlot. Among the aromas reminiscent of flowers, in this wine is usually perceived violet and, frequently, peony as well.

 Let's resume the tasting by contrast of this month and proceed with the evaluation of the olfactory profiles of the two wines, starting, as in the previous phase, with Gutturnio Classico Superiore. Let's hold the glass in vertical position and, without swirling, let's proceed with the first smell in order to examine its opening, that is the identifying aromas of the wine. From the glass are perceived, intense and clean, aromas of cherry, raspberry, plum and strawberry to which follow the elegant scent of violet. Let's swirl the glass – an operation favoring the oxygenation of the wine, therefore the development of the other olfactory qualities – and let's proceed with the second smell. From the glass we can now perceive aromas of blackberry and blueberry, frequently followed by the scent of rose. Let's now move on to the olfactory evaluation of Sicilia Merlot and, by keeping the glass in vertical position and without swirling, let's evaluate its opening. The Sicilian wine is characterized by aromas of black currant, black cherry and plum followed by violet. After having swirled the glass, Sicilia Merlot completes its olfactory profile with blueberry, peony and, sometimes, carob.

 Let's now pass to the gustatory evaluation of the two wines, first examining Gutturnio Classico Superiore. The first evaluation we will carry out in this wine is about its attack, that is the primary sensations perceived in the mouth and, in some respects, capable of defining the “personality and character” of a wine. Let's take a sip of the wine of Piacenza: in the mouth we immediately perceive the moderate astringency of the tannins as well as the pleasing and typical crispness produced by the acidity of Barbera. The wine reaches its balance with both the proper effect of alcohol and Croatina, moreover, in the mouth we perceive – clean and intense – the flavors of cherry, raspberry, plum and strawberry. Let's now proceed with the evaluation of the attack of Sicilia Merlot, therefore let's take a sip of this wine. In the mouth we can immediately perceive the round character of Merlot – which is also combined with the effect of alcohol – reaching its balance with astringency, perceptible but definitely rounder than Gutturnio Classico Superiore. In the mouth we also perceive the flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum.

 Our tasting by contrast has reached the final evaluation of the sensations the wines leave in the mouth, in particular, the so-called taste-olfactory persistence, a primary factor in determining the quality of a wine. The first wine of which we examine the final sensations is, just like the previous phases, Gutturnio Classico Superiore. The finish of the wine of Piacenza is persistent, leaving in the mouth a pleasing sensation of crispness – of which Barbera is the main responsible – and pleasing flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. The finish of Sicilia Merlot is completely different in the sensations left in the mouth. Its persistence is certainly good, and it is mainly perceived the round sensation of Merlot which tends to also round out the astringency, however perceptible. In the mouth we continue to perceive intense flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum. We conclude the tasting by doing a final olfactory and gustatory evaluation of both Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot: the two wines are very different and distant in every single sensorial quality.

 



 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 207, June 2021   
Contrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia MerlotContrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 206, May 2021 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 208, Summer 2021

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Monferrato Rosso Di.Vino 2017, Franco Mondo (Piedmont, Italy)
Monferrato Rosso Di.Vino 2017
Franco Mondo (Piedmont, Italy)
Barbera (70%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%)
Price: € 9.00 Score:   Good value wine

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, plum and black currant followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, chocolate, tobacco, pink pepper, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, plum and black currant.
6 months in barrique.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Nizza Riserva Le Rose 2015, Franco Mondo (Piedmont, Italy)
Nizza Riserva Le Rose 2015
Franco Mondo (Piedmont, Italy)
Barbera
Price: € 25.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cocoa, tobacco, licorice, leather, cinnamon, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, plum and blueberry.
36 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat, Hard cheese



Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Monovitigno 2019, Fattoria Moretto (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Monovitigno 2019
Fattoria Moretto (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Grasparossa
Price: € 12.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of purple red, little transparency, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, strawberry and raspberry followed by aromas of rose, violet, peony, cyclamen, plum, blueberry and pomegranate.
Effervescent and properly tannic attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, strawberry and raspberry.
Produced with long Charmat method.
Cold cuts, Pasta with meats, Sauteed meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Canova 2019, Fattoria Moretto (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Canova 2019
Fattoria Moretto (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Grasparossa
Price: € 12.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of purple red, little transparency, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry followed by aromas of gernaium, violet, strawberry, cyclamen, pomegranate, blueberry and plum.
Effervescent and properly tannic attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry.
Produced with long Charmat method.
Cold cuts, Pasta with meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Serrapetrona Robbione 2013, Terre di Serrapetrona (Marches, Italy)
Serrapetrona Robbione 2013
Terre di Serrapetrona (Marches, Italy)
Vernaccia Nera
Price: € 24.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and black pepper followed by aromas of dried violet, strawberry, blueberry, graphite, chocolate, tobacco, licorice, rosemary, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and strawberry.
24 months in steel tanks, 24 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat



Sommo 2012, Terre di Serrapetrona (Marches, Italy)
Sommo 2012
Terre di Serrapetrona (Marches, Italy)
Vernaccia Nera
Price: € 19.00 - 500ml Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and strawberry followed by aromas of dried violet, dried rose, plum, blueberry, cinnamon, cocoa, tobacco, leather, tamarind, rhubarb, vanilla and graphite.
Sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness and astringency.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and strawberry.
24 months in steel tanks, 24 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Fruit tarts, Confectionery, Hard cheese



Sicilia Nero d'Avola Riserva Cutaja 2016, Caruso \& Minini (Sicily, Italy)
Sicilia Nero d'Avola Riserva Cutaja 2016
Caruso & Minini (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola
Price: € 18.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and dried violet followed by aromas of black cherry, blueberry, tobacco, carob, cocoa, cinnamon, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
18 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta, Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat, Cheese



Delia Nivolelli Syrah Riserva 2013, Caruso \& Minini (Sicily, Italy)
Delia Nivolelli Syrah Riserva 2013
Caruso & Minini (Sicily, Italy)
Syrah
Price: € 26.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and black currant followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, peony, chocolate, tobacco, cinnamon, leather, licorice, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and black currant.
24 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 2006, Silvio Carta (Sardinia, Italy)
Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 2006
Silvio Carta (Sardinia, Italy)
Vernaccia di Oristano
Price: € 60.00 Score:

Brilliant amber yellow and nuances of amber yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of dried fig, rancho and honey followed by aromas of leather, caramel, almond, date, coffee, walnut husk, citrus fruit peel, praline, tobacco, oregano, vanilla and nail polish.
Crisp and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, intense flavors, full body, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with very long flavors of dried fig, date and almond.
Aged in small barrels.
Jam tarts



Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 2004, Silvio Carta (Sardinia, Italy)
Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 2004
Silvio Carta (Sardinia, Italy)
Vernaccia di Oristano
Price: € 60.00 Score:

Deep amber yellow and nuances of amber yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of dried fig, leather and rancho followed by aromas of citrus fruit peel, almond, date, caramel, tobacco, coffee, licorice, walnut husk, honey, hazelnut, oregano, praline, vanilla and nail polish.
Crisp and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with very long flavors of dried fig, honey, praline and almond.
Aged in small barrels.
Jam tarts



Trento Riserva Extra Brut 1673 2012, Cesarini Sforza (Trentino, Italy)
Trento Riserva Extra Brut 1673 2012
Cesarini Sforza (Trentino, Italy)
Chardonnay
Price: € 30.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of banana, acacia and bread crust followed by aromas of apple, grapefruit, plum, pear, hawthorn, beeswax, hazelnut, croissant and mineral.
Crisp and effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of banana, grapefruit and hazelnut.
The base wine ages for 6 months in steel tanks. Refermented in bottle on its lees for at least 60 months.
Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Mushroom soups



Trento Riserva Brut Aquila Reale 2010, Cesarini Sforza (Trentino, Italy)
Trento Riserva Brut Aquila Reale 2010
Cesarini Sforza (Trentino, Italy)
Chardonnay
Price: € 45.00 Score:

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of banana, plum and bread crust followed by aromas of acacia, apple, grapefruit, pear, hawthorn, croissant, candied fruit, butter, praline and honey.
Crisp an effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of banana, plum and grapefruit.
The base wine ages in cask. Refermented in bottle on its lees for 90 months.
Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Roasted fish, Stewed fish with mushrooms, Roasted white meat






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 207, June 2021   
Contrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia MerlotContrasts of Gutturnio Classico Superiore and Sicilia Merlot Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
What is your daily intake of wine?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
Would you buy or drink alcohol-free or dealcoholized wine?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
What kind of wine do you like having in October?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   


☰ Menu

Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter Segui DiWineTaste su Instagram

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2021 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.