As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is home to various microclimates that are great for growing grapes. Wine has been produced there since at least the 5th century B.C., after the Greeks began to transport vines to the island from the mainland.
The southwestern side of the island, toward Tunisia, is home to fortified Marsala wines. Meanwhile, the red wines from Mount Etna often receive praise and acclaim, but the region’s white wines are also notable. This list includes Italian white wines at a range of price points featuring such Sicilian grapes as Carricante, to Grecanico Dorato (also known as Garganega) and Grillo.
Giovanni Rosso 2017 Bianco (Etna); $39, 94 points. Spanish broom, lemon drop and ripe orchard fruit are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this stunning white. The aromas carry to the linear, elegant palate, with additional tones of Meyer lemon, apricot, Mediterranean herbs and salt. Tangy acidity provides balance throughout. Vias Imports. Editors’ Choice. –Kerin O’Keefe
Planeta 2018 Allemanda Moscato (Noto); $22, 93 points. Enticingly fragrant, this wine offers intense aromas of jasmine, wisteria and citrus zest. Linear and tangy, the elegant, savory palate offers succulent white grapefruit, apricot and Meyer lemon alongside bright acidity. It closes on an energizing saline note. Taub Family Selection. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Pietradolce 2018 Bianco (Etna); $21, 92 points. Elegant and delicately scented, this opens with aromas of Spanish broom and fleshy white fruit along with a whiff of wet stone. The juicy, tangy palate delivers yellow apple, Bartlett pear and a savory saline note accompanied by crisp acidity. Empson USA Ltd. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Frank Cornelissen 2017 Munjebel Bianco (Terre Siciliane); $45, 92 points. A blend of 50% Grecanico Dorato and 50% Carricante, this opens with delicate aromas evoking citrus, wet pebble and Mediterranean scrub. It’s elegantly structured, delivering Meyer lemon, unsweetened tangerine drop candy, smoky flint and dried apricot set against fresh acidity. It has a dry, lingering finish. Zev Rovine Selections. –K.O.
Cusumano 2018 Alta Mora Bianco (Etna); $24, 91 points. Aromas of spring blossom, white orchard fruit, wet stone and Mediterranean brush form the fragrant nose. Linear and elegant, the vibrant palate delivers white peach, nectarine, citrus and a hint of hazelnut alongside tangy acidity. A saline note marks the close. Terlato Wines International. –K.O.
Donnafugata 2018 Sur Sur Grillo (Sicilia); $21, 91 points. Loaded with fragrance, flavor and finesse, this savory white pushes all the right buttons, starting with inviting aromas of tropical fruit, citrus and white spring flowers. The fresh, medium-bodied palate doles out honeydew, Meyer lemon and Mediterranean herb alongside crisp acidity and a hint of saline. Folio Fine Wine Partners. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Tasca d’Almerita 2018 Leone d’Almerita (Terre Siciliane); $22, 91 points. A blend of Catarratto, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer, this fragrant, savory white has enticing aromas of citrus, spring blossom, pear and tropical fruit. The vibrant, tangy palate doles out juicy grapefruit, white peach and pineapple alongside crisp acidity that leaves a clean, succulent finish. LLS–Winebow. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Tenuta di Fessina 2017 Erse Bianco (Etna); $25, 90 points. Spanish broom, grilled herb and toasted almond aromas mingle with scents of mature white stone fruit. On the elegant palate, tangy acidity accompanies mature yellow pear, golden apple, Mediterranean scrub and lemon zest before a saline finish. Vineyard Brands. –K.O.
Valle dell’Acate 2018 Zagra Grillo (Sicilia); $22, 89 points. Fragrant spring flower and summer orchard fruit aromas mingle with a whiff of Mediterranean herbs. Bright and tangy, the fresh palate offers honeydew, white peach and pineapple before a saline finish. Skurnik Wines, Inc. –K.O.
Stemmari 2018 Grillo (Sicilia); $11, 88 points. Pretty aromas of white spring flowers mingle with apple and a whiff of tropical fruit on this bright Sicilian white. The crisp palate offers peach, pineapple and white almond before a tangy finish. Prestige Wine Imports Corp. Best Buy. –K.O.
Published: January 29, 2020