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Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese

2014 Italy Sicily
92 Points

The 2014 Sicilia Nerello Mascalese Eruzione 1614 is a drier and more mineral-driven expression compared to its peers. The bouquet delivers an immediate and wide array of volcanic characteristics with ash and crushed-sulfur stone. The mouthfeel is linear and tight with fine tannins that are silky and long in terms of mouthfeel. The wine is excellent, but I am surprised by the subdued presence of primary fruit in a vintage like 2014 that is recognized for its exuberant blackberry and black currant aromas. I am assigning a slightly shorter drinking window as a result.

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Wine Advocate September 2017
Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese Platinum

Eruzione 1614 Carricante

2015 Italy Sicily
91 Points

The 2015 Sicilia Carricante Eruzione 1614 is an enormously refined and elegant white to enjoy now or to put back in the cellar for another five years to further its evolution. This is a fine and temperate expression that bestows its volcanic characteristics in a prideful and upfront manner. The wine is full of mineral nuances that resemble brimstone, ash and crushed limestone. Yet, this Carricante-based wine (with a small part Riesling) is generous in terms of its fruit and citrus definition. Preserved lemon and candied orange peel appeal on the finish.

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Wine Advocate September 2017
Eruzione 1614 Carricante Platinum

Etna Rosso DOC

2015 Italy Sicily
88 Points

Planeta is expanding its offering of Etna wines and this base red is part of that effort. The 2015 Etna Rosso is a subtle and easygoing wine that offers a quick and informal alternative to the large majority of Nerello Mascalese-based wines that tend to be much more austere and reticent in character. This wine reads like an open book. It flaunts its primary fruit, its fresh acidity and its firm but not astringent mouthfeel. Drink this Etna Rosso with barbecued meats.

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Wine Advocate September 2017
Etna Rosso DOC

Etna Bianco DOC

2015 Italy Sicily
90 Points

Planeta's 2015 Etna Bianco is a terrific wine that shows surprising fullness and volume (for the Carricante grape which is usually more streamlined in approach). This wine, however, boasts extra stuffing or fiber that adds to the wine's volume and, ultimately, to its persistence. The bouquet delivers an attractive assembly of white peach, citrus, honey and crushed-granite aromas. The wine is inherently simple in spirit, but it awards a thoroughly refreshing drinking experience nonetheless.

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Wine Advocate September 2017
Etna Bianco DOC Platinum

Eruzione 1614 Carricante

2016 Italy Sicily
92 Points

The 2016 Sicilia Carricante Eruzione 1614 is comprised of 90% Carricante and 10% Riesling. This wine offers many exciting assets that distinguish it from its competition. First, that supporting presence of Riesling adds some of those benzine and resin-like aromas to the overall complexity of the bouquet. It is subtle, but the Riesling impact is well integrated within the broader texture of the wine. Second, the bouquet shows fruity tones of exotic fruit and perfumed honeydew melon, but it also offers drying mineral tones of brimstone and crushed seashell. This wine should continue to evolve over the next ten years.

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Wine Advocate September 2017
Eruzione 1614 Carricante Platinum

Doppiozeta

2014 Italy Sicily
88 Points

Dark red-ruby. Clean aromas and flavors of dark fruit, spices and herbs. A hint of chocolate emerges on the medium-long, slightly tart finish. A well made wine but tastes like it could have been made with any grape variety anywhere in the world that has a hot climate. Made with 100% Nero d'Avola grapes. 

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Vinous September 2017
Doppiozeta Platinum

Zisola Effe Emme

2014 Italy Sicily
91 Points

Dark red-ruby. Floral and spicy notes complicate blueberry aromas on the nose. Then bright dense and juicy with lively, peppery acidity nicely framing the dark cherry and berry flavors on the palate. Finishes with hints of blueberry nectar and herbs. Made with 100% Petit Verdot, this is just about as good as the variety gets in Italy; well done. The wine is not shy in its alcohol-derived power (15% alcohol) but it camouflages well thanks to a combination of sweetness, size and ripeness, not to mention very good overall balance.

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Vinous September 2017
Zisola Effe Emme Platinum

Azisa

2015 Italy Sicily
90 Points

Vivid straw-yellow. Expressive aromas of lemon juice, yellow peach and spearmint, complicated by balsamic nuances. At once sweet and focused, with no shortage of energy to the dense stone fruit, balsamic and minty flavors. Finishes big and bold, delivering outstanding juiciness and length. Lovely wine of sneaky complexity. A blend of Grillo and Cataratto.

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Vinous September 2017
Azisa Platinum

Azisa

2016 Italy Sicily
91 Points

Bright pale straw. Lovely aromas and flavors of yellow melon, green fig, sage and rosemary with hints of riper orchard fruit and butter. Juicy acidity provides lift and precision on the long salty finish. A lovely wine, but borders on being almost too Sauvignon Blanc-like; anyways, it’s delicious. A blend of Grillo and Catarratto (wrongly, the label doesn’t specify which Catarratto, and it should, as there exist different biotypes that give different wines). 

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Vinous September 2017
Azisa Platinum

Tenuta Belguardo Maremma Toscana IGT

2011 Italy Tuscany
92 Points

The 2011 Tenuta Belguardo is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. This is a lovely wine from Coastal Tuscany that is rich, supple and soft in terms of texture. The bouquet is redolent of dark fruit with jammy overtones and blackberry preserves. Spice, cinnamon and grilled herb fill in the rear. This wine would make a great companion to spicy sausage with green peppers and onions.

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Wine Advocate January 31, 2017
Tenuta Belguardo Maremma Toscana IGT Platinum